WASHINGTON, May 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Humane Association has been celebrating Be Kind to Animals Week® since 1915, when the nation's oldest and largest national organization protecting the welfare of animals created the campaign in honor of all the creatures with whom we share our world. To celebrate this annual tradition and encourage compassion for animals, American Humane Association and animal lovers across the country honor the timeless human-animal bond and pay tribute to the vital role animals play in our lives each and every day.
While much progress has been made since the program was launched almost a century ago, the fact remains that 7-8 million animals still end up in shelters every year. "One of the most important ways to 'be kind' to animals is to adopt a shelter pet and give them the forever home they so desperately need," says Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association. "If adopting is not possible, consider fostering a pet or volunteering with a local shelter or rescue group. Our pets are devoted to us and for them every day is 'Be Kind to People Day.' The very least we can do is show them our love and compassion. There are so many ways for all of us to lend kindness to a voiceless, helpless animal."
During Be Kind to Animals Week and every day of the year, American Humane Associations offers a few ways you can celebrate the importance of our beloved animals at home and in the wild:
- 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.
- Adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue. Every year an estimated 3.7 million animals are euthanized because they could not be adopted into loving 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 more than 90 percent of them live without the benefit of science-based welfare standards to ensure their humane treatment. If your family chooses to eat animal protein, look for products that have been humanely raised and certified by independent, third-party programs such as the American Humane Certified™ program.
- Look for the No Animals Were Harmed® certification 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.
- Promote ways to treat animals humanely in your community by speaking out about the importance of respecting animals.
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