National Mutt Day was created with two main efforts in mind: to raise awareness about the plight of many mixed breed dogs and to help more of these dogs find loving homes. In 2005, an animal welfare advocate named Colleen Paige instated National Mutt Day. (You may recognize her name – she also founded National Dog Day, National Cat Day, National Puppy Day, and others.) National Mutt Day is celebrated just twice a year, on July 31st and December 2nd. The goal this year is to save 10,000 (or more!) mixed breed dogs from euthanasia by finding them adoptive homes.
Why Adopt a “Mutt”?
Mutts are much more likely to be euthanized than other dogs because specially bred dogs have become so popular. But while mixed breed dogs may not be as recognizable as their purebred (or specially bred) friends, they have a few other things going for them.
Better health. Mixed breed dogs usually have better overall health and require fewer sick visits to the vet.
Longer lives. Because they have few health problems, they also live longer lives than most purebred dogs.
Easy to train. While it’s true that some purebred dogs are naturally easy to train at certain tasks, that’s true for mixed breed dogs as well. You’ve probably seen many mixed breed dogs on TV or in movies. Benji, one of the nation’s most beloved terriers, was actually a mixed breed.
Other Ways to Help
If you can’t adopt a mixed breed dog right now, there are other ways to help this cause. Donations are always welcome, and you can give directly to your local shelter to help support the mixed breed dogs in their care. Most shelters happily accept volunteers to help take care of the dogs. You could give food or supplies, or spend some time with the animals by taking them for daily walks.
Of course, if you already own a dog, please make sure it is spayed or neutered to help control the overpopulation problem.
National Mutt Day is a great opportunity to celebrate and show your support for mixed breed dogs. Please consider giving a mutt a home, if not, consider helping in any other way you can.