International Dog Day - August 26

26 August 2020

Today, Wednesday August 26, is International Dog Day!

Founded in 2004, the day’s aim is to bring attention to the plight of dogs around the world and encourage adoption of rescue dogs.

So, what better way to celebrate the day than by sharing pictures of our very own adopted furry (and not-so-furry!) companions?

We know many of our supporters have rescue dogs and we want to say a huge “Thank You!” for choosing adoption and giving abandoned dogs another chance at life.

Join in the fun by posting a picture of your adopted pet pal and tell us how you came to be together. Make sure you tag @AnimalsAsia and use the hashtag #InternationalDogDay.

Here we have just some of the pooches who have been given fur-ever homes by Animals Asia staff:

An, aka Annie Bug, lives with Senior Bear Team Manager Sarah Van Herpt and her best friend, a cat called Kinky (so-called because she has a kink in her tail). After following the sound of a dog crying behind the bike sheds at the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre, Sarah discovered An in a terrible state; severely underweight, covered in mange and smelling awful. “One evening I went to get my bike and there she was, lying in the bike shed in an old cat bed. She was really nervous, and my heart just broke.”

“I left some food and water for her and let Senior Vet Surgeon Shaun Thompson know about her. The next morning we went back with a crate and coaxed her in and took her to the Companion Animal Clinic. We bathed her and honestly, there was just something about her that tugged at my heartstrings and I immediately committed to adopting her. Many baths (which she hates), good food and much love later, she is a different looking dog!”

Two-legged Lelly was rescued in China together with her daughter Muddie and now both rule Animals Asia's Founder and CEO Jill Robinson's world in Hong Kong.

Harold was adopted 11 years ago by Fundraising Development Executive Brooke Aldrich. Harold was given up by a family for "behavioural problems”. He's a really sensitive, intelligent, and wonderful dog, but very slow to trust.

Ten-year-old Shelby, a Beagle-Spaniel cross and eight-year-old Buddy, a Boston Terrier-Boxer cross, share their lives with Karina O’Carroll, Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Education Manager. Shelby was rescued from a construction site in Tai Po when heavily pregnant. Karina set up a maternity suite in her living room where Shelby gave birth to five gorgeous puppies a few days later.

Karina continues the story: “My, how our lives then changed. Shelby was a brilliant mum, and the pups were doing well. They reached the three-week mark (the first real milestone with newborns) only to then be struck down by 'fading puppy syndrome', an unexplained illness that saw her pups’ lungs fill with fluid.

Over four days, we lost them all.

I don't think much in my life compares to the trauma of those four days. Zero sleep, juggling pups over steam to try and clear their airways, racing back and forth to the vets, pups in oxygen chambers … everything that could be done was done, but to no avail.

My heart was beyond broken, with Shelby seeming to understand that everything was being done to try and help her babies. But seeing the heartbreak in her face and the distress we both suffered, when the last pup didn't make it I went home, sat on the floor and wailed. Shelby came and sat in my lap and howled.

But, five years on and we have had some amazing adventures together. She came into my life at a chaotic time, and she gave me purpose, drive and motivation. She's now entering her old lady years and we plod along together every day, making adjustments to our walking routines. She can no longer do big hikes but can still do 5k at present. She truly has been the dog that changed my life for the better, and I can't imagine my world without her.”

Buddy had been abandoned a few times before he landed at Karina’s door, presumably due to his incredibly energetic personality. Karina offered - after a few glasses of wine! - to adopt Buddy after his owners posted on Facebook that they were struggling to keep up with him. On meeting the little 'pocket rocket' (with a slightly sore head) the next day, Karina soon realised what a handful Buddy was and worried how he would get on with Shelby. Karina continues, “however, when we got home and I opened the door, Shelby and Buddy covered each other in slobbery kisses”, and the rest is history.

“Buddy has been my biggest challenge”, Karina says, “but also my biggest education. I have poured over online resources, learnt more about dog behaviour in the last four years than I ever thought I would and realised just how important it is to understand your dog, from their point of view.”

“Buddy has his triggers still to this day, things like bamboo brooms that make him cower. I can only imagine what trauma he experienced in his past, being a high energy little doggo - and the punishment he was perhaps subjected to because of that. Buddy has brought so much light and fitness to my life. At the end of 10k hikes he is still going! He's nuts but we love him.”

More about International Dog Day and Animals Asia’s work with companion animals:

International Dog Day is celebrated every August 26th and was founded in 2004 by Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Advocate Colleen Paige, also the founder of National Puppy Day, National Mutt Day and National Cat Day to bring attention to the plight of animals and encourage adoption.

Although Animals Asia is most known for our work with bears, we also provide funding and training to around 100 animal welfare groups in China that rescue dogs and cats and undertake other welfare initiatives that directly help companion animals.

We also run two innovative outreach programmes, Dr Dog and Professor Paws, which aim to teach compassion for animals by using therapy dogs in local schools and hospitals. The programmes are having a positive effect on the way people feel about dogs in China and ultimately, changing lives for animals.