In this time of giving, consider making a long-term commitment to help those dogs who find themselves in a shelter, pound, or rescue. Contribute your money, your time or both to a local rescue group. They are always underfunded and consistently overwhelmed by the number of dogs in need of a home. Don't know where to start? Google "dog rescues" or "dog shelters" or "breed rescues" with the name of your city and state.
This is from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:
Approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats).
Spay or neuter your dog. Period. There is NO reason anyone other than a responsible breeder should have an intact dog. If you do nothing to prevent unplanned canine pregnancies, your dog's offspring could easily become one of the millions of dogs to die each year in the U.S. in overcrowded shelters.
Just so you'll know, death for dogs in a shelter environment in the U.S. is usually by lethal injection. However, if your state has not banned the process, unwanted dogs and puppies may die of carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide poisoning in a gas chamber. This is a terrible end to a life that began with the hope of a happy home with a loving family.
Choose to be part of the solution. Volunteer. Donate. Educate.