We’d like to think that every week is “Be Kind to Animals Week,” but with all the daily news reports about animal abuse and neglect, it’s nice to have week that raises awareness specifically about these issues.
In 1915, the American Humane Association created Be Kind to Animals Week as a way to promote empathy for animals and to raise awareness about animal abuse. Every year since then, organizations and companies across the globe celebrate this week by raising money for animal shelters and charities, spreading the word about animal wellness, and advocating for animal rights.
Below are ideas for celebrating the human-animal bond, both during Be Kind to Animals Week and throughout the entire year.
1. Speak out for animals.
Get active in local animal welfare policies and legislation. Also register on American Humane’s website at www.americanhumane.org to receive timely Action Alerts about issues affecting animals. You’ll be able to make a difference for animals with just the click of your mouse.
2. Share kindness.
Teach the people in your life – especially children – about the importance of being kind to animals.
3. Identify your pets.
Make sure your pets have current tags and are microchipped so they can be returned home quickly if they become lost.
4. Make a donation to your local animal shelter.
A donation can be any number of contributions, from your time or money, to needed items such as pet food or laundry detergent.
5. Appreciate wildlife.
Leave room in your yard for natural habitats, like a pond for fish or a birdhouse.
6. Report animal abuse.
While acts of violence against animals are tragic in their own right, they are also a red flag for other violent behavior, including domestic abuse and violent crime.
7. Educate yourself
Learn about The Link® between violence to animals and violence to people to help stop the cycle of violence. When animals in a home are abused or neglected, it is a warning sign that others in the household may not be safe, and children who witness animal abuse are at a greater risk of becoming abusers themselves.
8. Adopt a pet
Rescue an animal from a shelter or breed-rescue group. Local shelters and rescue groups are the best place to find companion animals – no matter what type you’re looking for. Keep in mind that one out of every four dogs in shelters is a purebred.
9. Help end the tragedy of euthanasia
Don’t contribute to the pet overpopulation problem! If you have pets, make sure to have them spayed or neutered.