7 Organizations To Support During Dogtober, Even If You're Super Busy

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Dogs are just about everyone's best friend: they're loyal and protective almost to a fault, their cuddles are basically therapy, and they're pretty much impossible not to love. Because they do so much for us and make the world a happier place, Dogtober celebrates dogs and encourages all of us to give back. If you want in on the festivities but don't have a lot of time, consider supporting animal welfare organizations this Dogtober.

Whether you want to donate to groups that find the right homes for dogs, make sure shelters have what they need, or help train dogs to become service animals, you have plenty of options. Of course, you can also support dogs by going to your local shelter and seeing what you can do to help, whether it's giving money or volunteering your time. And aside from giving some love to all the pups in your life, encouraging others to adopt instead of buy dogs from breeders is yet another way to make a difference.

When it comes down to it, donating to shelters can literally save lives. Adopting one dog definitely makes a difference, but donating helps multiple dogs (and cats!). So, if you're feeling inspired to help out in any way you can, here are some great organizations to donate to for Dogtober:

1. Dogs For Good

Dogs For Good is a charity that trains dogs to be assistance dogs that help support adults and children with autism and disabilities. They also have community dogs who help people become more independent, as well as a family dog team that helps people foster and improve their relationships with their dogs. You can help Dogs For Good by either donating money or even sponsoring a puppy. If you go for the latter, you'll get regular updates on their training and journey.

2. Best Friends Animal Society

According to Best Friends Animal Society, 2,000 cats and dogs are killed in shelters every day, and there's no reason for it. Ultimately, the organization wants to see a world with "no more homeless pets," and put an end to kill shelters. If you support their mission, you can start by donating money — even just $35 is enough to give a dog a bed.

3. AKC Canine Health Foundation

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The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation says they are dedicated to advancing the health of all dogs and their owners. They do this by funding scientific research on preventing, treating, and curing canine disease. If you want to support this research during Dogtober, you can donate money by becoming a member, make a donation in the name of a loved one, attend upcoming events that the foundation puts on, and fundraise.

4. Freedom Service Dogs

Freedom Service Dogs, which has been around since 1987, is an organization that does exactly what it sounds like: they help train service dogs for people in need. Their dogs serve people who have disabilities such as autism, brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and spinal cord injuries, just to name a few.

You can help by volunteering your time, participating in donation drives, or just donating your own money.

5. Wags and Walks

Wags and Walks is another organization that works to get rid of the practice of animal kill shelters. It was founded in 2011 by the daughter of a veterinarian, Lesley Brog, after she realized how many perfectly healthy dogs were being euthanized because shelters in Los Angeles were so overcrowded. The organization not only helps dogs, but also raises awareness about the importance of rescuing pups rather than buying them from breeders. They basically work to connect dogs who are in danger of being euthanized with families who want a pet.

You can do a one-time donation, become a monthly donor, or volunteer to help in a more hands-on way.

6. National Canine Cancer Foundation

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No one likes to think about a dog having cancer, but of course, it happens. The National Canine Cancer Foundation brings awareness to canine cancers in a variety of ways. For one, they have what they call the most comprehensive canine cancer library out there, and you can use it to learn about a handful of warning signs. They also help fund research that looks for cures, better prevention, and more cost effective diagnostic methods.

Want to help? You can do so by donating whatever money you can to do the foundation — every bit makes a difference. And if you know a dog who passed from cancer, make a memorial donation in their name to keep their memory alive.

7. The Grey Muzzle Organization

When people think about getting a dog, they often think about getting a puppy. Puppies are cute and adorable, and a lot of people want to raise their pet from the beginning of their lives. That's understandable, but there are also plenty of senior dogs out there who need a home and a family and often get forgotten about. The Grey Muzzle Organization thinks about them: they help senior dogs find a home.

You can help the organization by donating money, beds, cars, or by volunteering your time.

Donating your time and/or money to any of these organizations is a wonderful way to celebrate Dogtober (and dogs in general) while also making a real difference in a community that really needs your help. And you'll feel good about what you've done, so really, this is just an all around win!