Young Man with black Labrador sitting outdoors and celebrating National Rescue Dog Day.

National Rescue Dog Day

What You Need to Know

Dogs come to families in a lot of different ways, and rescue dogs know that better than anyone—find out how to celebrate them.

Every day, new dogs find their way over to rescues. These animals, like many others, are in need of a home and a family to look after them. The reality is that a lot of these animals can face some pretty uncertain circumstances, and while some of them are lucky enough to be born in the rescue, not all of them are—especially senior animals.

The good news is that every year, we have a chance to celebrate our rescue dogs to shout to the world how glad we are that they found their way to us. A rescue is often brought to a family by luck and chance, so let’s discuss what it really means to celebrate on National Rescue Dog Day.

Adorable female dog with beautiful hazel eyes stands looking at the camera with her tongue out, celebrating National Rescue Dog Day.
“There is nothing truer in this world than the love of a good dog.“ ~ Mira Grant

What is National Rescue Dog Day?

Pitbull smiling wide and celebrating National Rescue Dog Day.
Your smile warms my heart!

National Rescue Dog Day is a day focused on celebrating rescue dogs around the world. Whether your pup was born and raised in your state or brought in from somewhere else, they managed to find their way to you—and that is something worth celebrating!

On May 20, 2022, we celebrate National Rescue Dog Day to remind the world and our pups just how happy dog parents are when they adopt a pet. A rescue can bring so much to the families that they live with, and we think that is amazing. People and families change when rescue dogs enter the home. Today is the day to celebrate just how amazing they can be!

The Importance of Rescuing Pets

Adorable small dog behind a fence looking to be adopted this National Rescue Dog Day.
Every pet needs a loving home.

Rescuing pets is a topic that can be a little difficult for dog lovers because, the truth is, not all rescue dogs have a happy history. Some rescue dogs are left behind when families can no longer care for them, or when families don’t want them anymore. Other rescue dogs find their way to local rescues when they end up lost—or even if they never had a place of their own to call home.

When dog parents rescue pets, they are committed to ensuring that their new furry relative will live a happy life. It is a commitment to care for pets, love them, protect them, and welcome them into the home. Making this decision can ensure a great quality of life for a dog, cat, or any other kind of animal.

As hard as it is to consider, the truth is that pets can often find their lives at risk without dog parents to adopt them—which is just one of the many reasons that we appreciate the love and care offered by dog parents around the world.

Ways to Support Rescue Dogs

Young man smiling as he embraces his rescued dog on a city street, celebrating National Rescue Dog Day.
With you is where I want to be always.

Supporting rescue dogs is a big project, and no one knows this better than the rescues around the world. Caring for so many pets in need of a good home can be difficult, especially when you consider the constant flow of pets in need of care waiting for animal welfare organizations. Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can support rescue dogs.


Close up of an adorable rescued dog, celebrating National Rescue Dog Day.
Giving back is one of the most important gifts you can give.

Pet rescue organizations are always in need of funding, and generally, the amount of funding that they receive will impact how many pets they can help. When more people donate to local rescues, those rescues can provide much-needed tools and services for animals in need. Oftentimes, donations can dictate how rescues board and house pets, and it can also help pets in need receive life-saving or life-changing medical treatments that can help them to be ready for adoption.


Beautiful German Hound looking up at pet owner, celebrating National Rescue Dog Day.
Home is definitely where the heart is.

Adopting rescue dogs is one of the best ways that you can support them as long as you can give them a happy and stable home. When dog parents adopt pets, they change that pet's life forever. An adoption can mean love and security—something that not all rescue pets truly know.

More importantly, adopting a pet can save their lives. It can help them to enjoy some of those luxuries that other pets get to enjoy. It means toys, a warm bed, a diet that fits their needs, and access to the medical care that they need to thrive at all stages of life.


Scared foster dog with new owner, celebrating National Rescue Dog Day.
One look at you and I fell in love.

A good number of rescues use fostering as a way to help more pets. Foster dog parents are individuals who agree to temporarily house a pet for a duration of time until they can find their forever home. More often than not, this means keeping them in your house between adoption events.

Fostering is about more than just giving pets a place to stay before they are adopted. It also can have a huge impact on the adoption status of a pet. Some pets that end up at rescues have only known a life of hardship and fear, which is why foster dog parents can have such an amazing impact on them. When pets live in foster homes, they often end up more socialized, learn how to be loved, and can even learn some new tricks. Foster dog parents have a huge impact on helping pets. Adopting and fostering dogs allows more pets to live wonderful lives.

Adopt Older Pets

Senior  Staffordshire Bull Terrier smiling from ear-to-ear, celebrating National Rescue Dog Day.
Melt my heart why don't you!

Older pets struggle quite a bit when it comes to adoptions. The truth is that people often default to getting a younger dog, leaving older dogs behind in the process. Adopting older pets can ensure that older pups have a good quality of life for the remainder of their lives, and this is a really beautiful thing. It also means that more spots can open at rescues to help other pets.

Be Vocal About Rescuing

Dilla, a French Bulldog and Boston Terrier mix standing up and wearing the Who Rescued Who Royal Blue Dog Hoodie from online dog clothing store they made me wear it.

Who Rescued Who?


This adorable hoodie features a slit so your pup can wear their favorite collar or harness underneath. Available in 9 bold colors.

There was a trend for quite a while where everyone wanted to talk about their pure-bred dogs, and we believe that now is the time to talk about rescuing. Making sure that people know that your lovely pup is a rescue can help to change the way people look at adopting, helping more people to choose adoption when they look for a pet.

Being vocal is something that you can do in a few ways. It might mean shouting my dog is a rescue from the rooftops, but there are some fun and fashionable ways to go about it as well. We’ve created two fun items specifically for rescue dogs that highlight the reality that rescue pets change human lives for the better.

To show off your status as the proud dog parents of a rescue dog, let your dog have some fun with our WHO RESCUED WHO Dog Hoodie, which clearly shows the reality that these pups change lives. You can also prepare for warmer weather with our WHO RESCUED WHO Dog T-Shirt.

How to Help Your Rescue Dog Feel at Home

Adorable and scared rescued dog being taken care of and loved on National Rescue Dog Day.
You can lean on my shoulder.

Every rescue dog has a story, and your rescue dog’s story can have a pretty big impact on their needs. Some rescues need a little extra love, a little extra medical care, or just a little extra fun. When you bring a rescue dog into your home, there are a few things that you can do to make them feel like home.

Be Patient

Young man sitting on the grass with his beloved rescued dogs, celebrating National Rescue Dog Day.
With love and patience, anything is possible.

For a very long time, we have all been exposed to media images of these “perfect” and vibrant little puppies—and who doesn’t love, puppies, right? While there is nothing wrong with this, it does leave out the reality that some rescue dogs just need a minute. For a rescue that has been moved states, bounced from one place to the next, or even exposed to abuse, life can be scary—even when they find their forever home.

Patience is one of the most important things that you can offer a rescue dog. Your pup needs to know that you will give them the time to warm up to your family. Sometimes it means being patient with bad habits or how close your dog is to your family. With a little love and patience, your pet will thrive.

Prepare for Vet Bills

Young veterinarian woman doing a medical examination with a Golden Retriever, celebrating National Rescue Dog Day.
It's important to keep your pups happy and healthy!

Rescue dogs can come with quite a few vet bills, and while this is true for any pet, rescue dogs can have a more immediate need. In order to provide a proper home for your rescue dog, remember to always have money saved up for any medical expenses. Though rescues often provide medical care for dogs, some rescue pups need treatment, even after they have left the shelter.

Start with Basic Training

Dog owner training his rescued Beagle how to sit pretty, outdoors in nature, celebrating National Rescue Dog Day.
Did someone say sit pretty?

You can adopt a rescue dog at any age, and it probably goes without saying that not every dog knows the same tricks—or has had them reinforced. Any time that you adopt a dog, you want to help them to get adjusted with basic training. Making sure that your pup knows how to go out to go potty or practicing basic tricks can do a lot to strengthen your bond with your pet.

Treat Them with Kindness

Young man hugging & kissing his black Labrador sitting outdoors and celebrating National Rescue Dog Day.
Love your pups with your whole heart.

Dogs that enter rescues, even seemingly happy dogs, often have an interesting history. These dogs might have been abandoned by their last family or might still be grieving being separated from their family or friends at the rescue. Being as kind as possible to your pet can help them to see you as a source of comfort, and rescue dogs specifically tend to need that more than others. Your pup should know that they can always come to you.

Be Understanding of Their Needs

Young woman making funny faces at her Bichon Mix wearing a dog sweater on National Rescue Dog Day.
Show them how much you care.

Given the rich histories of rescue dogs, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that their needs vary quite a bit. It is up to you as the dog parent to really seek to understand these needs—and there are a lot of ways to go about this.

Treat your furbaby with care by learning who they are as an individual. What makes them happy? What doesn’t make them happy? What frightens them? Paying attention to your pup and how they respond to certain events can help you to provide a safe space for them.

Look for Signs of Trouble

Owner petting his dog, while he is sleeping with closed eyes on National Rescue Dog Day.
“The essence of love is concern.”~ Nirmala Srivastava

Rescue dogs are known to bring so much to their families, but sometimes they need a little more help than expected. It is not uncommon for dog parents to find out later that their pups need something that wasn’t pointed out by the rescue.

After you adopt your rescue, you will want to look for any red flags or concerns. This might be something like excessive licking, indicating an allergy—or it might mean finding out that your dog is terrified of cats. Being aware of these possibilities can help you to be there for your pet and gives you the power to make sure that you meet their needs.

Shower Them with Love

Handsome dog dad hugging an adorable Pitbull puppy, celebrating National Rescue Dog Day.
Tell them you love them everyday!

Love makes the world go round, and this is ten times as true for rescue dogs. If your dog has been living on the street or was recently separated from their siblings, you will find that they might be hurting or even skittish. Giving your pet lots of love to remind them that you will always be there for them can help them to grow more confident, and it will often make them much happier. Give your pup some love, and watch how they transform!

Favorite Charty, Hope for Paws

With every purchase you make, we donate to our partner group, Hope for Paws. Hope for Paws provides much-needed aid to dogs in need, and this is something that we feel very strongly about. This rescue supports pups of all sizes, shapes, and ages (including our own pup, Willow)—ensuring that they have access to medical attention, food, and shelter. Hope for Paws does their part to make sure that pets in need find their ways into forever homes!

The Takeaway

Adorable Toy Poodle, Peluche, rocking the Who Rescued Who Dog Tee in Cosmic Blue from online dog clothing store they made me wear it.
Say hello to our amazing cousin Peluche!

We are so proud to have adopted pups throughout the years, and we know from firsthand experience just how much joy and love these animals can bring. If you are looking to adopt a pet, we highly recommend going through a rescue instead of visiting a store.

The fact is that there are pets that need us, right now, and they are waiting for us at shelters. Rescue dogs can be amazing new additions for the family, offering love, cuddles, fun, and hilarious memories. When you adopt, you will find that your dog will transform before your eyes, and we think that is pretty beautiful!

Until next time, thank you for reading!

About the author: Gabrielle is the loving pawrent to adorable pups Willow and Dilla. Growing up surrounded by dogs, she always dreamt of having her own. Willow and Dilla came into her life and changed everything. Now, she's crazy about pampered pooches, and her perfect day involves dancing with her husband, dressing up her furbabies, and cuddling them to sleep. For Gabrielle, life is all about spreading love and joy with her adorable canine companions by her side.