National Pet Day honors all pets, raises awareness of adoption

By Marilyn Malara   |   April 11, 2015 at 1:26 PM

WASHINGTON, April 11 (UPI) -- Today, Americans celebrate their favorite animals -- pets -- as well as those still without a home for National Pet Day.

Celebrity pet and lifestyle expert Colleen Paige founded the holiday in 2005 to create awareness about the struggle many kinds of animals face while waiting to be adopted, according to the holiday's website.

PetDayUSA organized a list of the "Top 10 Ways to Celebrate National Pet Day," that urges observers to adopt, volunteer, donate, demonstrate and even paint a portrait of their pets.

"The biggest goal of National Pet Day is to educate the public about the surprising number of different kinds of pets that are available for adoption at shelters, rescues and farm sanctuaries," the site states. "Any domestic animal you can think of is in the care of an organization or foster family looking for a forever home."

To further spread the love, published a list of "America's Favorite Pet Names" in honor of National Pet Day. For dogs and cats, the most popular name is "Bella." For birds, it's "Buddy," and bunnies, "Oreo." But who would have thought "Ferdinand" is the most popular name for our amphibious friend, the frog?

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