WASHINGTON, April 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During this year's "Be Kind to Animals Week®" (May 4-10), American Humane Association, the organization that helped found America's original "Compassion Movement" in the 1870s is putting out an urgent plea to reach and enlist one million new advocates to help billions of animals facing the daunting challenges of the 21st Century.
"The need has never been greater," says Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of the country's first national humane organization. "We have made gigantic strides in the past century, pioneering many of the key advances in protecting our nation's children and animals, but there are still huge numbers in critical need of lifesaving care and we need more allies and advocates to give voice to the voiceless."
During this 99th year of its "Be Kind to Animals Week," the charity is seeking to reach and enlist one million new advocates to help ensure the welfare and proper treatment of billions of animals who live in our homes, on our nation's farms and ranches, and in our wild spaces.
Anyone can help, join the cause and spread the word just by visiting www.americanhumane.org/bekind and taking the pledge to help animals, spreading the word by sharing one of the many fun and colorful "Be Kind to Animals" Facebook graphics posted there, and becoming a member of America's first national humane organization.
Major Figures in Animal World Join Effort
Major figures joining the effort include well-known animal advocates such as Dr. Marty Becker, who has agreed to be this year's Celebrity Ambassador for Be Kind to Animals Week.
"We are putting out a call to every American to get involved and make a difference during Be Kind to Animals Week," said Dr. Becker, who is well-known as "America's Veterinarian" from The Dr. Oz Show and Good Morning America, and is an American Humane Association board member. "By becoming a part of a new 21st Century Compassion Movement you can help millions of vulnerable animals to be kept safe, protected, and loved – something this veterinarian prescribes for all animals. And you'll be joining an effort that rescues thousands of animals every year from disasters, hoarding and cruelty cases, protects 100,000 animal actors on TV and film sets every year, works to save more of the 7-8 million pets who enter shelters each year, and ensures the humane treatment of nearly 1 billion farm animals. Don't keep America's animals waiting – join us today!"
Other major celebrities, charities, and organizations are posting, tweeting, and otherwise spreading the word, encouraging Americans to get off the sidelines and actively become a voice for the voiceless.
American Humane Associations is also offering a few ways we can all celebrate the importance of our beloved animals during Be Kind to Animal Week – and all year round:
- Join the cause and become a part of the Compassion Movement at www.americanhumane.org/bekind and sign up for breaking news, alerts, and activities children and adults can do together to help animals in need. Take the pledge, find shareable Facebook graphics here and spread the word!
- Adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue. Every year 3-4 million animals are euthanized because they could not be adopted into loving, forever homes.
- Always treat your pets with love and affection, make sure they are in safe environments at all times and have plenty of fresh water and exercise daily.
- Spay or neuter your pets and encourage friends and family to do the same. Many local shelters offer assistance for low-income families.
- Keep your pets current on vaccinations and make sure they are wearing up-to-date identification tags and are micro-chipped. Take your pet to the veterinarian regularly and know what it takes to be a responsible pet owner.
- Report any suspected animal abuse or neglect to local authorities. Animal cruelty is not only tragic for animals, but also an indicator of other forms of abuse such as domestic violence. If you see something that looks suspicious – a dog chained in your neighbor's yard that looks underfed, a child putting a cat in a box and kicking it – don't hesitate. Let someone know.
- Teach your children that all animals are important and show them how to be kind and respectful to animals both in the home and to those they encounter in parks, zoos or in their neighborhood.
- Appreciate wildlife. Plant flowers in your yard that will attract butterflies or hummingbirds. Drive cautiously through areas populated by wild animals such as deer.
- Some 10 billion animals are raised each year on our nation's farms and ranches and some 90 percent of them live without the benefit of audited, science-based welfare standards to ensure their humane treatment. If your family chooses to eat dairy, eggs, or meat, look for products that have humanely raised and certified by independent, third-party programs such as the American Humane Certified™ program.
- Look for the No Animals Were Harmed® end-credit when you see a movie or television show featuring animals and know that your favorite animal actor's welfare and safety was ensured by Certified Animal Safety Representatives who protect more than 100,000 animal actors on more than 2,000 film and television productions every year with a 99.98% safety rate!
- Promote ways to treat animals humanely in your community by speaking out about the importance of respecting animals.
"American Humane Association helped found our nation's Compassion Movement 137 years ago and we made a huge difference," said Dr. Ganzert. "Today, we need every American to join in an ambitious new effort to bring hope, help and comfort to millions in need. What better time to consider joining American Humane Association to help those in need during Be Kind to Animals Week? Please take just a moment and visit us at www.americanhumane.org/bekind. Thank you!"
About American Humane Association
American Humane Association is the country's first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we're also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.
SOURCE American Humane Association