Around the world, animal lovers are helping Fido and Fluffy find a home. Text Level 6.

y Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, adapted by Newsela staff.


Around the world, animal lovers are helping Fido and Fluffy find a home.

Text Level:6

Jay, Inca, Boston, Vegas, Kane and Tokyo rushed over to the gate and lined up. A hand reached into the pile of tongues, tails and paws and pulled two dogs out of the pen. The pair wriggled with excitement as volunteers led them out for a stroll around a lake at Soi Dog Foundation in Thailand.

During the outing on a recent afternoon, the dogs stretched their legs. They sniffed the plants and eyed the resident duck. But the walk also had another purpose: The street dogs needed to learn how to be pets. This is an important step as they moved from a life outdoors to the animal shelter to a permanent home, often in the United States.

IHAD. On August 19, the world will observe International Homeless Animals' Day, or IHAD. The International Society for Animal Rights created the event in 1992. This group wanted to raise awareness about the millions of cats and dogs — like Jay, Inca, Boston, Vegas, Kane and Tokyo — that don't have a home or a human family to care for them. On this day, rescue centers, shelters and animal welfare groups in more than 50 countries have organized such activities as dog dock diving, a dog/owner look-alike contest and pet photo shoots.

"Children can participate in IHAD by walking shelter dogs, grooming shelter animals and spending time with them," said Susan Dapsis. She is the president of the International Society for Animal Rights. "This will bring much happiness to the animals and prepare them for their journey to a new home."

Of course, organizations and individuals devote their time and resources to stray animals every day of the year. At Soi Dog Foundation, on the tropical island of Phuket in Thailand, volunteers and staff members work with dogs and cats that have never eaten out of a bowl, worn a collar or curled up on a couch. To become adoptable, the animals need to learn basic skills. They must learn how to bond with people and, for dogs, how to walk on a leash.

"The dogs will pull you in the lake if you're not careful," said Ian Munday, a Soi Dog volunteer. He was giving a guided tour of the facility.

Fortunately, many of the more than 560 dogs and 200 cats living at the shelter are quick learners.