Looking Local: National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

Support your local animal shelters and help dogs find their “furever” homes


Available at Sierra’s Haven, Miggy is a female adult German Shepherd mix. Photo from Petfinder.

Jerilyn Garrett, Staff Reporter

October is National Adopt a Dog Month! Since 1981, both the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the American Humane Association (AHA) have dedicated the month of October to National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month or National Adopt a Dog Month. Despite a slight variation in the names, the ultimate goal is the same: to find as many safe, loving homes for dogs as possible while spreading awareness of the abuse and overabundance of shelter dogs.

According to the ASPCA, over 3.3 million dogs enter shelters every year in the U.S. Often, these dogs were previously abandoned or abused. The AHA and the ASPCA created this annual event to encourage people to adopt these animals waiting for a home. By adopting a local shelter dog, “you’ll be saving his or her life and greatly improving your own as dogs are amazing, supportive, and heroic companions,” according to the AHA. Not only is October dedicated to adopting dogs, but also to supporting local shelters in whatever way you can.

Locally, there are two animal shelters where you can support the cause of National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month: Sierra’s Haven for New and Used Pets and the Scioto County Dog Shelter.

Sierra’s Haven for New and Used Pets

Available at Sierra’s Haven, Rosie is a female adult Labrador Retriever and Boxer mix. Photo from Petfinder.

Sierra’s Haven is located at 80 Easter Drive in Portsmouth. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with visitation allowed on Sunday by appointment only. According to Sierra’s Haven’s Facebook, if you are interested in visiting or adopting an animal, you must call between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. any day to schedule an appointment due to COVID-19 guidelines. Sierra’s Haven has been operating since 2006 and according to their website, they have saved over 20,000 lives. In 2018 alone, Sierra’s Haven took in 1,009 dogs and puppies and adopted 883 of them into new homes or rescues. Their website notes that when adopting a dog, “please take into consideration that this is a life-long commitment to your new pet.” Often, many dogs are adopted and then later abandoned due to the new owners not recognizing the amount of responsibility they have taken on. At Sierra’s Haven, adoption fees run from $100 to $200 depending on the dog’s age and health. Available dogs can be seen on their website, Facebook page and Petfinder. For more information, visit their Facebook page, website, or call 740-353-5100.

Scioto County Dog Shelter

Available at the Scioto County Dog Shelter, this male mix is energetic and good with cats and children. Photo from the Scioto County Dog Shelter Facebook.

The Scioto County Dog Shelter is located at 95 Arrowhead N Road in Portsmouth. They are open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, visitors must call upon arrival and a face mask must be worn while inside the shelter. Functioning through the Dog Warden, the shelter often takes in several abandoned or abused animals. The Scioto County Dog Shelter emphasizes on their Facebook that “adopted animals take three days to decompress, three weeks to start to know your routine and three months to start to feel at home,” explaining that you must give adopted dogs the chance to get accustomed to their new lives. Adoption fees are around $85 and available dogs can be seen on their Facebook page. For more information, visit their Facebook or call 740-353-8802.

Besides adopting, there are several other ways to help local shelters and the cause of National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. As the amount of dogs in shelters is becoming overwhelming, one way to help is to foster a dog while waiting for it to be adopted. This allows shelters to accept more dogs to find homes for as it frees up kennel space within the shelter. Local shelters are also always in need of supplies such as food and cleaning products and both Sierra’s Haven and the Scioto County Dog Shelter accept donations. Money donations are also accepted and helpful in funding surgeries, vaccinations and various other necessities. Last, by simply sharing information on local shelters through social media you can raise awareness and possibly help shelter dogs get adopted and find their loving, “furever” homes!