Rescued by rembrandt
A smiling woman bent down to pet a stray white and brown dog.

As a rescuer, you do more than save the lives of vulnerable canines—you share their stories with others in the hope of finding them forever homes. Your tireless efforts and unwavering dedication help pave the way to a brighter future for countless four-legged friends. And as we approach a special date on the calendar, your cause takes center stage! Let’s talk about National Rescue Dog Day and how you can make the most of it.

What Is National Rescue Dog Day?

Observed annually on May 20, National Rescue Dog Day is a day for raising awareness of surrendered, abandoned, and stray dogs. Along with educating the public about their struggles, the holiday aims to show why these animals deserve attention and support. Ultimately, the goal is to encourage people to adopt dogs. 

According to the official website, National Rescue Dog Day was founded in 2018 by Lisa Wiehebrink. A children’s book author and executive director of Tails That Teach—an organization that educates children to be kind to pets—Wiehebrink is a passionate advocate for rescue dogs. She was inspired to establish the event after adopting a rescue of her own. Her mission was to not only recognize the obstacles these animals have to overcome but also demonstrate what wonderful companions they can be.

Since its inception, the event has gained momentum, inspiring communities to come together in support of rescue dogs. The day serves as a reminder of the countless lives that have been changed through adoption and rescue efforts. More importantly, it shines a light on the lives yet to be saved.

Why National Rescue Dog Day Is Important

For rescuers like you, National Rescue Dog Day is an especially significant date on the calendar. It provides a platform for bringing attention to the millions of dogs awaiting adoption in shelters and rescues. By doing your part, you can contribute to a collective effort to inform the public about the realities of canine welfare…

Further, National Rescue Dog Day gives you the perfect opportunity to honor the unique stories and personalities of rescue dogs. These resilient animals have often overcome adversity and hardship yet still possess an incredible capacity for love and loyalty. By celebrating this day, you can acknowledge the value of every dog, regardless of their breed or background. And with the right approach, you can inspire people to give a second chance to one of the loveable animals currently in your care.

7 Ways to Celebrate National Rescue Dog Day

A happy dog behind a barred shelter kennel.

The great thing about National Rescue Dog Day is there are countless ways to observe it. On May 20 (and the days leading up to it), you can inspire, educate, and encourage your community to get involved in some capacity. Below are some ways to celebrate by raising awareness of rescue dogs and the work of rescues like yours. 

1. Share Success Stories

As a rescuer, you witness the transformative journey of rescue dogs firsthand. Use National Rescue Dog Day as an opportunity to share success stories of canines who have found their forever homes thanks to your efforts! Create engaging social media posts featuring the following:

By demonstrating the positive impact of rescue work, you can inspire others to support your organization and consider adoption.

2. Showcase Adoptable Dogs

Give deserving rescue dogs a chance to find their forever homes by featuring them prominently. Create graphics for each adoptable dog with a high-quality photo, name, age, breed, and unique personality traits. Then, post these graphics across all your social media channels, along with engaging captions that share each dog’s backstory and what makes them special. Make sure to include a link to the adoption page of your website and explain the next steps for those interested. 

Encourage potential adopters to connect with your organization and take the first step toward welcoming a rescue dog into their lives!

3. Host a Fundraiser or Supply Drive

Rally support for your rescue organization by launching a fundraising campaign in honor of National Rescue Dog Day. Whether it’s a crowdfunding campaign, a virtual/in-person donation drive, or a merchandise sale, leverage this occasion to raise funds for essential medical care, supplies, and outreach efforts. Create compelling fundraising appeals that highlight the impact of donations on the lives of rescue dogs and showcase specific projects or initiatives that donors can support. 

Here’s how…

Don’t forget to provide specific information about how donations will be used to support your rescue dogs. 

4. Highlight the Importance of Rescue Work 

National Rescue Dog Day presents an opportunity to educate the public about the importance of rescue work and advocate for the welfare of rescue dogs. So, use this day to raise awareness about your work and the animals you save. Engage with your audience by sharing educational content and encouraging them to participate in discussions about animal welfare issues.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

You have a lot of firsthand knowledge about rescues, so look for interesting ways to share it!

5. Recruit Fosters and Volunteers

Expand your network of support by recruiting fosters and volunteers to assist with your rescue efforts. Use National Rescue Dog Day to showcase the rewarding experience of fostering and volunteering, highlighting the impact individuals can make in the lives of rescue dogs. There are several types of content you can create for this purpose. 

By taking advantage of this event, you can welcome more kind-hearted volunteers and fosters to your team—and provide greater care for the dogs you save. 

6. Teach Responsible Pet Ownership

Although responsible pet ownership is a subject you should touch on year-round, it’s a compelling topic on National Rescue Dog Day. So, use the event to emphasize the lifelong commitment involved in caring for a pet. Empower current and potential pet parents to provide the best possible care for their furry companions. 

For example…

You can also encourage engagement and discussion by inviting those in your community to ask questions and share their own experiences. 

Educating people about rescue dog care and pet ownership in general can ensure they’re equipped to handle these animals’ physical, emotional, and behavioral needs.

7. Partner with Local Businesses and Organizations 

Strengthen community ties and expand your reach by partnering with local businesses and organizations to celebrate National Rescue Dog Day. Look for opportunities to collaborate with pet-friendly establishments such as cafes, breweries, and retail stores. Reach out to gauge their interest in getting involved in adoption events, fundraising drives, or special promotions benefiting your rescue organization. 

It’s also worth contacting community groups, schools, and civic organizations to organize awareness campaigns, volunteer opportunities, or educational workshops focused on rescue dog advocacy. 

By working together with like-minded partners, you can amplify your message, engage new supporters, and make a positive impact in your community.

Raise Awareness for Rescued Dogs

Celebrating National Rescue Dog Day is an opportunity your animal rescue can’t afford to miss. So, use the ideas provided here for inspiration. Advocate for rescue dogs and work toward a world where every dog has a loving forever home. On May 20 (and every day, for that matter), you can make a positive impact on the lives of rescue dogs everywhere!

If you need help with animal rescue marketing, request a free consult today!