October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month. Tips for finding your new best friend

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and Best Friends Animal Society is encouraging anyone who has been thinking about getting a dog to take the plunge and find themselves a new best friend at a local shelter or rescue, since the need is still great.

Even with the pandemic pooch craze, 32 percent of the 347,000 shelter pets (dogs and cats) killed last year were dogs, according to Best Friends 2020 data of U.S. shelters. Over the summer, shelter intakes were on the rise, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dogs in need of new homes across the country.

Adopting a dog comes with a host of benefits, according to veterinarian Erin Katribe, medical director at Best Friends Animal Society.

“Studies have shown that having pets reduces stress and lowers anxiety,” Katribe said. “This is especially helpful during challenging times like we’ve experienced over the last year and a half. Dogs are also great walking or hiking buddies. It’s like having a personal trainer with four legs.”