I usually try to limit myself to one blog posting per week. Otherwise, I am afraid that I will spend all of my time writing blogs when I should be out training dogs. (Wow, and it rhymes too!) However, tomorrow is the beginning of Be Kind to Animals Week, May 2-8, so I just had to comment on it. We do not limit care and kindness to one week each year but the week really is a time for the choir to preach to the choir and renew our commitment to be kind to the animals that share this planet with us.
If this is the first Be Kind to Animals Week you have celebrated here are some ideas about what you can do to make it memorable.
Adopt: If you are looking for a pet go to a shelter or rescue and help them out by adopting from them. They really do have their hands full of animals waiting for a home. If you have your heart set on a specific breed there is a rescue group for almost any breed of cat and dog that you can think of. You can check online and find all of them in your area. Just be sure you do some soul searching and know that you are financially, emotionally and settled enough to provide a good home to your new friend. It is a real heartbreaker to see an animal go back to a shelter or rescue just because the person who “rescued” it did not think things all the way through. Are you really ready to make a commitment that may last for several years? Are you willing to pay for food and medical care? Having a pet is not cheap, the costs can add up dramatically sometimes.
There are other things you need to consider. What is your lifestyle like? Are you gone a lot? If so, maybe a cat would be the best match for you. Most cats don’t mind being alone for hours at a time. Dogs on the other hand are called companions for a reason. Most of them love to be with people. If you have to leave them for long periods of time your dog may get bored and destructive; not because they want to tear up your stuff but they are taking out their frustration the only way they know how. What are you prepared to do to deal with that?
Spay and Neuter: Most shelters and rescues have already taken care of this but be sure to find out. If you have a pet that is not spayed or neutered do the responsible thing and get it done. It’s good for you, your pet, and the world at large.
Animal Abuse: Most of us are well aware of animal abuse due to high profile cases that have been in the headlines the past couple of years. If you witness abuse of an animal report it to the proper authority in your area. Keep in mind that abuse comes in many guises. Besides fighting, it can be as subtle as lack of water and food. Being forced to stay in the yard all of the time, or worse yet, being chained in the yard all the time is abuse. So is not providing room for a pet to exercise properly. Animal abusers will not stop because the light bulb came on. It is up to us to see that abuse stops.
Kindness extends to all animals: There are animals all over that need our help. Just in your neighborhood I bet you can find several species of wild animals that you can show kindness to. If you decide that you would like to help them contact the appropriate agency and seek their advice on what you might do to help the wildlife in your area.
Commit Yourself: There are so many ways you can help in the fight for animal welfare. Check with an animal shelter in your area and see how you can volunteer. Rescue organizations are always looking for help. The list goes on. Together we are making a change but the fight is far from over. If you can do nothing else then just be kind to animals; that is a start.
Happy Be Kind to Animals Week!