This week ahead, we celebrate National Dog Day, a day of recognition and action for the staggering number of dogs that need to be rescued from shelters around the country.

The annual day, every August 26, was founded in 2004.

According to ASPCA, there are over 3.1 million dogs that need to be rescued in shelters across the country. That is an incredible amount. National Dog Day does not discriminate against any breed or mix of breeds.

The special day also recognizes the hard work that all service dogs perform, whether it is in search and rescue, fire, police, cancer detection, therapy dogs, or homeland security work.

They are all honored and appreciated on this special day.

Many ask why a special day is needed to celebrate the dog, after all, many of us do every day but the fact is that many dogs remain in shelters, some are kill shelters and National Dog Day encourages people to go out and adopt and rescue a dog.

According to the National Dog Day:

"Millions of dogs are killed each year because they're simply unwanted, says Colleen Paige, founder of National Dog Day. They're unwanted because no one realized how to properly care for the demands of the breed. They're unwanted because they were bought as a Christmas gift for a child that didn't keep their promises about caring for the dog...unwanted because they shed too much...unwanted because they bark too much. UNWANTED...simply because someone changed their mind. All a dog wants to do is love you and be loved by you. Dogs are amazing, courageous, sensitive, and sentient beings that deserve compassion and respect. Please consider bringing what was once considered "unwanted love", into your heart and home on National Dog Day!"

I’ll never forget the first time I brought home “Sparky” who we got on Halloween.

Sparky relaxing

They told us at the SPCA that he wasn’t a lap dog and wasn’t the cuddly type. I was glad to say that they were wrong, he was a great dog and I broke every one of the rules that I had set forth before his adoption because he was so much fun and loved the attention.

He was a great addition to the family, and he, unfortunately, succumbed to a terrible disease. The joy and happiness that we gave to him and the happiness that he gave to us was such a positive experience.

Please consider adoption for your local SPCA and before you adopt, make sure that you have made provisions and considerations for bringing another family member home.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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