3 Reasons to Celebrate National Mutt Day
July 31 is National Mutt Day, also known as National Mixed Breed Dog Day. The holiday was started in 2005 by Celebrity Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Welfare Advocate, Colleen Paige to encourage the public to embrace the mutt. The day is also celebrated on December 2 each year. Here are just a few quick reasons why you should consider adopting a mutt the next time you plan to add a member to your family.
Mutts are Readily Available
About 80% of shelter animals are mixed breed dogs, not pure bred. The other 20% of shelter dogs are breeds that are easy to identify so they are often rescued quickly by the public wanting a “less expensive” pure bred dog or by a pure breed rescue. This leaves many mixed breed dogs to wait longer for new homes.
Each Mutt is One-of-a-Kind
Sometimes the best characteristics of each of the breeds that make up the mix end up in a single dog. Many of the best family and service dogs we’ve known have been mixed breed. That includes Run Those Dogs owner Jen Sewell’s cattle dog mixes Gus and Kai. Laika, the first dog to put into space by the Russians was mixed breed, chosen over all others. Famous TV dog Benji was mixed breed.
Many of the most talented police, military and assistance dogs are mixed breed because they have the combined talents and appropriate temperament from a number of ancestors. Mixed breed dogs also tend to be healthier, better behaved and they live longer.
Adopting a Mutt Prevents the Negative Impacts of Pure and Designer Breeding
To address the public’s desire for specific breeds and new designer breeds in pet stores, puppy mills and unethical breeders have over-bred animals and in some cases produce ill and horribly neglected animals. Adopting from a shelter instead means that together we can shrink the market for puppy mills and unethical breeders, putting more and more of them out of business while preventing new ones from developing. Trends can be turned, one dog at a time.
There are a number of way to celebrate National Mutt Day. If you’re planning to adopt a new pet, choose a mixed breed dog from your local animal shelter. If you’re in our neck of the woods, we highly recommend the NOAH Center in Stanwood, WA. Run Those Dogs owner Jen Sewell volunteers there and so knows about their integrity and quality care for animals.
Not in the market for a new family member? Make a financial, food or supply donation to a local shelter. Every dollar counts. Or volunteer to walk dogs. Most shelters have a simple volunteer program.
And don’t forget to celebrate the mutt all year long. By sharing your positive attitude about mixed breed dogs with others you’ll help gradually shift our culture away from the notion that pure bred is somehow better than a mixed breed pet.