National Rescue Dog Day, Friday, May 20, aims to raise awareness of the wonderful dogs in need of permanent homes. Dogs find themselves in shelters for various reasons. Some are surrendered by owners no longer able to care for them. Some are brought in as strays, never reunited with owners. Some dogs are removed from hoarding or abuse situations by animal control officers.

In an ideal world, all these dogs would find lifelong loving care. After all, their life as pets is part of an age-old covenant: they would surrender their freedom to roam, hunt, and reproduce in exchange for space on our couches and in our hearts.

So: how can YOU help rescue dogs?

Donate to shelters and rescue groups money or items from their wish list can make a real difference in the lives of the staff and the animals.

Volunteer at your shelter – help walk and socialize dogs, helping visitors meet adoptable dogs, help with their social media outreach.

Make sure your pets are spayed or neutered, up to date on vaccinations, and equipped with a proper identification tag.

Educate yourself and your family about responsible pet care.

Foster a dog that’s not yet reay to be adopted (don’t be surprised if you get attached!)

Read all about rescue! There are over 80 titles in the Brunswick County Library collection on animal rescue to inspire readers of all ages. Here are just a few:

Saved: Rescued Animals and the Lives They Transform by Karin Winegar

Mutual Rescue: How Adopting a Homeless Animal Can Save You Too by Carol Novello

The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz

Seven Perfect Things by Catherine Ryan Hyde

The Andy Carpenter Series of books by David Rosenfelt

The Puppy Place Series by Ellen Miles

Adopt! Rescue dogs come in all sizes, shapes, genealogies, and activity levels. You can view available dogs on line at or or visit local shelters and off-site adoption events.

Like many of us, rescue dogs may simply need love and patience to start living their best lives. Take time to consider available dogs. Shelters will gladly work with you to introduce your family – including other pets – to ensure a good fit. Your new best friend is out there, waiting for you!