Monday is the perfect time to celebrate the shelter dog in your life. The first of August serves as the universal ceremonial birthday for shelter dogs known as “DOGust 1st.”

Thousands of dogs are adopted from shelters across the country every year, and many are brought into new homes with no way of knowing their actual birthdays or how best to celebrate them. So in 2008, the largest no-kill shelter in the world picked Aug. 1 as the universal birthday for shelter dogs.

According to NationalToday.com, North Shore Animal League America picked the day to celebrate and honor shelter dogs that add so much to the lives of their owners.

Now the day is used by local shelters as an opportunity to clear space and get more dogs adopted and into permanent homes.

The Santa Monica Animal Shelter is one of the organizations marking the holiday by bringing awareness to the many dogs and other pets currently available for adoption. Shelter officials say 10 dogs and more than 20 cats are in desperate need of permanent homes.

Anyone hoping to celebrate DOGust 1 by bringing home a new member of the family should reach out to the Santa Monica Shelter (or another shelter near you) to see how you can make a shelter dog’s birthday extra special.

The Santa Monica Animal Shelter is located at 1640 9th St. and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment only. For contact information, click here.