Friday was National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. But at the Helen Woodward Animal Center, it also was Adopt a Sweater-Wearing Dog Day.

Marking the 20th anniversary of Home 4 the Holidays, the Rancho Santa Fe center’s worldwide animal adoption campaign, officials announced that more than 15 million orphan pets have found homes thanks to the program.

“More families bring home a new pet during the holiday season than any other time of the year,” said center officials.

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Helen Woodward Animal Center marks National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day by dressing up adoptable pups. Center photos
Helen Woodward Animal Center marks National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day by dressing up adoptable pups.
Helen Woodward Animal Center marks National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day by dressing up adoptable pups.
Helen Woodward Animal Center marks National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day by dressing up adoptable pups.
Helen Woodward Animal Center marks National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day by dressing up adoptable pups.
Helen Woodward Animal Center marks National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day by dressing up adoptable pups.
Helen Woodward Animal Center marks National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day by dressing up adoptable pups.
Helen Woodward Animal Center marks National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day by dressing up adoptable pups.

Center President and CEO Mike Arms began the Home 4 the Holidays campaign to encourage new pet seekers to choose adoption for their forever friend rather than turn to backyard breeders or pet stores.

Presented by pet-food maker Blue Buffalo, the program now has 4,000 shelters taking part in 26 countries.

“Our pups are happy to do whatever they can to find their forever family — even don an ugly Christmas sweater,” said center Adoption Services Manager Ashley Freeman.

“And as cute as these guys are, they can pull them off better than anyone I’ve ever seen. We hope the perfect person will see their holiday spirit and give them the home they’ve dreamed of this Christmas.”

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