BELLEVUE, Wis. (WFRV) – Friday is ‘National Dog Day’. While it’s a great day to celebrate our four-legged family members, it’s meant to highlight something more.

“She is one of the best dogs I’ve ever owned, and I’ve had puppies and many other rescues,” said Kathy Beltz of Bellevue, talking about her dog, ‘Birdie.’

It’s not hard to get people to talk about their dogs, especially on a gorgeous summer day at the dog park in Bellevue.

“Anytime you have a bad day or something, they catch up on it. They’re right there by your side,” Casey Shea said.

Rose Weiler agrees, saying her dog “loves people, so it’s so fun to get out here to the dog park, but it’s awesome having a small business and we have clients come in and people can interact with her.”

Whether it was playing fetch, or lounging in the shade, those wet noses bring joy to so many people. National Dog Day celebrates all of them and is a reminder that many more need homes.

The ASPCA estimates that around 6.1 million animals enter a shelter each year. Of that, it’s a pretty even split. Three million of those are dogs, the rest are cats.

It’s an issue the Wisconsin Humane Society knows all about.

“We have some wonderful animals at the rescue. A lot of them come in and we don’t know a whole lot about them, we just know what we see, but then some that come in that were in a family before,” said WHS Event Coordinator Lori Nachtwey.

For the millions of dogs waiting for their next home, and the millions who already have one, this day was made for you.

The Wisconsin Humane Society said it is always looking for donations, especially for canned dog and cat food and soft dog treats.