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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

National Dog Day founded with mission to help dogs in need of rescue

Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley have K-9 heroes to be thankful for and shelters filled with sweet dogs who would be wonderful companions if rescued.
Credit: MGN

SPRINGDALE, Arkansas — National Dog Day is celebrated on Aug. 26 every year and was founded in 2004 by animal welfare advocate and pet lifestyle expert, Colleen Paige.

National Dog Day acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly to keep people safe and to give them comfort.

Share a picture of your pup on National Dog Day by uploading to the 'Near Me' section of the 5NEWS app.

RELATED: 5NEWS has a new app, download it here

Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley have K-9 heroes to be thankful for and shelters filled with sweet dogs who would be wonderful companions if rescued.

5NEWS reporter, Veronica Ortega, visited the Washington County Animal Shelter (WCAS) and met Shyla, an affectionate dog who needed a good home after being dropped off as an owner-surrender.

WCAS has many dogs in need of adoption. Click here if you are interested in giving one of them a forever home visit.

Watch: Adopt a Pet - Washington County Animal Shelter

Fayetteville Animal Service shared a touching story of how fallen Fayetteville Officer Stephen Carr rescued a dog in dire need of a home. 

Dogs can do things that even humans can’t do. They sniff out bombs and drugs, pull victims from danger to safety, detect cancer and seizures and give love freely without judgment.

K-9 officers put their lives at risk to serve and protect us.

Fort Smith Police Department (FSPD) had to say goodbye to K-9 Kilo in March when he passed away after weeks of illness. 

Kilo retired from FSPD in Aug. 2016 after helping local, state and federal agencies with hundreds of narcotics cases that resulted in hundreds of arrests.

Thank you for your service K-9 Kilo!

Credit: Fort Smith Police Department

RELATED: Retired Fort Smith K-9 Officer Kilo passes away

In May, Barling Police Department's K-9 Hype assisted in a Memorial weekend drug bust, and in July Hype and her handler, Officer Rowe, were recognized on July 28 at a city board meeting for their National Certifications.

Watch: Barling K-9 gets grant for detective vest

To learn more about K-9 Hype, visit her Facebook page.

Credit: Barling Police Department

RELATED: Barling Police Department's K-9 Hype not into posing for pictures or cardio workouts

Bella Vista's K-9 Cabo and several officers tracked a man through the woods and officers were able to detain him.

Credit: Bella Vista Police Department

RELATED: Bella Vista officer and K9 partner receive appreciation award from library

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service dog is “a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.”

Service dogs give support to Veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and are trained to help mitigate the symptoms of PTSD by providing needed emotional and physical support.  

Scientific research shows that specially trained PTSD service dogs can reduce stress and anxiety levels and help with depression.

They can also be trained to interrupt a night terror, retrieve an item, get help and much more. 

Click here to learn more about service dogs for Veterans.

Service dogs are trained to assist people with many different disabilities, improving their quality of life by helping them be more independent.

Medical alert dogs can signal the onset of a seizure or low blood sugar, alert the user to glucose, allergens, guide dogs help with navigating environments, hearing dogs help alert individuals to important sounds, mobility dogs assist with people using wheelchairs or walking devices and psychiatric service dogs help ease the anxiety for and depression.

To read "Service Dogs 101 - Everything You Need to Know," visit the American Kennel Club website.

National Dog Day celebrates all dogs, mixed breed and pure, with a mission to spread awareness about the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year.

Visit nationaldogday.com to learn more about National Dog Day.

Stories about local dogs that are heroes or just waiting to be given the chance to be one:

RELATED: A local dog rescue steps up to help some of the most vulnerable dogs in our community

RELATED: K9 Cabo helps Bella Vista Police track man through woods

RELATED: Adopt-A-Pet: Peanut in Van Buren

RELATED: Police dog rescues missing mom and baby on epic first day

RELATED: National Rescue Dog Day