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National Mutt Day – July 31st

July 31st is National Mutt Day, a day all about saving, caring for, embracing and celebrating mixed breed dogs. Created in 2005 by Animal Welfare advocate Colleen Paige this day was created to spread awareness about mixed breed dogs, especially those who are stuck in shelters and in need of loving homes.

One of the most compelling reasons to adopt a mutt rather than a purebred is the overflow of dogs in our shelters, as around 75% of the dogs in animal shelters are mixed breeds. The tragedy of pet overpopulation is still far from being solved, but with continued adoptions of those dogs left in shelters and spay/neuter programs this problem can begin to be solved. With so many types of mutts to choose from there is a perfect dog for everyone! Whether it be big, small, short hair or long hair your dream dog can be found as near as your local shelter.

One of the benefits of mutts is their “hybrid vigor.” When two or more breeds are mixed, the recessive genes that carry health problems are buried, leaving you with a healthier animal. Mixed breeds also tend to be more temperamentally sound than their purebred counterparts. Not all dogs in a breed hold true to their stereotypes, but generalizations about breed temperament often hold true. Mixed breeds are typically less extreme when it comes to their temperaments as the mixing of breeds can eliminate behaviors that are considered bad just as with the elimination of some health problems. Of course character and behavioral traits can manifest in mixed-breed dogs, just in a more diluted form.

There are many things people can do to help out with National Mutt Day this July. You can go down to the local shelter and give a mutt the loving home they deserve, or if a new dog in your life isn’t an option you can also go down and walk a dog or volunteer to help out at the shelter. By giving your time, effort and support to your local shelters you can greatly increase the chances of the pups there being adopted. Donations including money, food and other supplies are also always needed by shelters, take a look on your local shelters website and see what supplies they are in need of. The goal set by Paige for National Mutt Day is to have 10,000 mutts adopted on July 31st, so when the end of the month rolls around see what you can do to help meet this goal and give mixed-breeds the loving homes they deserve!