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National Pet Day with The Havana Herald

We love our pets – whether small or large, furry or scaly, loud or quiet, pets are an important part of many American households.

National Pet Day is April 11, although most pet owners don’t wait around for a special day in order to celebrate their pets.

While pets bring comfort, companionship and happiness to our lives, pets can also contribute to healthiness as well.

According to the National Institute of Health, research has shown that owning a pet can contribute to a healthier cardiovascular system by lowering cortisol levels, as well as a pet owner’s blood pressure and cholesterol.

National Pet Day was started in 2006 by Colleen Paige, an American animal welfare advocate; Paige said she launched the holiday both to celebrate the pets in our lives, but also as a way to spotlight the animals of all kinds that are in animal shelters and waiting for adoption.

In the past, the Humane Society of the United States has estimated that 13 million cats and dogs enter shelters every year; some of these animals were strays, while others were surrendered by owners who could no longer care for the animal.

While the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says that the annual number of animals entering shelters annually is closer to 6.5 million, the number is still a staggering amount of unwanted or returned animals looking for a home and family of their own.

In honor of National Pet Day, next time you look to bring a new furry friend into your home and life, check out your local animal shelters or humane societies first – you may just find your next best friend.

The Havana Herald is pleased to present these images, from our readers, of their pet companions!