As a former employee of Hallmark, I learned a lot about holidays. Sometimes it seemed as if holidays were created to sell more greeting cards. Maybe that’s true, but at least friends and family knew you were thinking about them.

If you dig deep, it’s easy to find a holiday to suit about any situation. When it comes to animals, however, we love all the holidays centered around pets.

From Poison Prevention Month, to Dog Training Education Month to Hug Your Cat Day, it’s easy to scroll online to enjoy all kinds of wonderful photos and learn some interesting tidbits about a wide range of topics.

Now that we are almost in December, there’s a holiday that is celebrated two times per year and is near and dear to our hearts: National Mutt Day, and it occurs on Dec. 2 and July 31.

This holiday was created in 2005 by Colleen Paige — an animal welfare advocate and pet and family lifestyle expert, to shine a light on the problem of mixed breed dogs being abandoned and filling the nation’s shelters.

Roughly eight out 10 dogs in American shelters are mixed breeds. That’s because pure breeds, when available, are adopted quickly because that’s what many people are looking for when adopting a dog.

The fee for obtaining a pure-bred dog is significantly lower at a shelter than if they were purchased at a pet store. So, why would anyone want a mixed breed dog?

There are several amazing reasons. On average, mixed breed dogs have longer lifespans that purebred dogs. They tend to possess better overall health along with a unique appearance and temperament.

One way the public can get in the spirit of National Mutt Day is to find a way to help many of the mixed breed dogs living in the world today. You can give shelters that house these dogs money or volunteer your time, or you can simply adopt one of these animals.

Do you spend a lot of time on social media? If so, you can chronicle your efforts to help mixed breed dogs by posting on social media using the hashtag #NationalMuttDay. Just liking and following the Midlands Humane Society’s Facebook page and sharing adoptable animals from us and from other rescues and shelters helps more than you know in getting great animals into loving homes.

Today is the last day for our Thanksgiving adoption special. All cats over one year of age can be adopted for just $25, and all dogs over one year will have $50 off their regular adoption fees.

Our year-end fundraising campaign, known as “Bark Friday” has just begun. All donations earmarked for Bark Friday will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $15,000. Can you imagine what we can do with $30,000? Think of all the vaccines, medications, spay and neuter surgeries, in additional to tons of love and enrichment opportunities that animals in need will receive.

An online donation can easily be made through our website, midlandhumanesociety.org. While you’re in the giving spirit, don’t forget about Giving Tuesday on Dec. 3. Locally powered by Share Omaha and presented by TS Bank and Access Bank, nearly 400 metro area non-profits (including MHS) are asking for your time, talent and/or treasure on Giving Tuesday.

Share Omaha wants everyone to “Do More Good” all year round, but especially on Dec. 3. Share your stories online with #GivingTuesday712 and #GivingTuesday402.

MHS Pets of the Week brought to you by Urgent Pet Care: Goose is a 1 and a half-year-old male Catahoula/Pointer Mix who knows all his basic commands and has good manners. Goose is a friendly, playful guy, but can be sensitive. We recommend kids 10 or older with dog experience.

Gus is a handsome 4-year-old cat who possesses some extra fluff.

Merlin is a 9-month-old male German Shepherd mix looking for an active home with breed experience. Because he is young, he will thrive in a home that can set clear rules and boundaries for him. Merlin can be skittish and slow to warm up with new people, but once he’s comfortable, he’s ready to party. We recommend older children and owners with a home, not an apartment.

To round out the list, you’ll find Sammi, a sweet, petite 11-month-old spayed female domestic shorthair.

Come say hello to these great pets today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Monday to Friday noon to 6 p.m. Remember we always have cats at the PetSmart Store in Council Bluffs and at PetSmart at 6220 N. 73rd Plaza in Omaha.

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