This week marks the 98th year to celebrate "Be Kind to Animals" week. This is a special week to celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of the animal kingdom. It reminds us of the unconditional love and friendship we receive from our companion animals.
This week was established in 1915 by the American Humane Association to launch humane education in the United States. Back then, kindness toward animals was considered a novelty - something only a few eccentric people practiced. But in the decades that followed, humane education played a major role in changing society's attitudes toward animals. Please extend the philosophy of "Be Kind to Animals" beyond dogs, cats and endangered species. Broaden your concern for all animals that inhabit our earth. All animals deserve respect and compassion.
Here are some suggestions for "Be Kind to Animals" Week from The Fund for Animals, 965 Alamo Drive, Vacaville, CA 95687:
Raise money - Organize a walk for animals and donate the money you raise to a local animal protection group.
Help the little guys - Don't use insecticides. Stopping the use of bug poisons will help the environment and you. Many non-lethal means for discouraging bugs from invading your territory exist.
Make humane choices - Purchase products that have not been tested on animals.
Educate - Encourage others to adopt their next companion animal from a shelter. Shelters are filled with wonderful animals who need homes.
Help wildlife - Create a space for wildlife in your own backyard. Trees, shrubs, bird feeders and bird baths are just a few examples of how you can create an inviting habitat to attract wildlife.
Become an advocate - If you witness animal neglect or abuse, report it immediately to your local animal society or police department. You may be the only one who can save an animal from suffering abuse or neglect.
Don't support cruelty - Do not attend circuses or fairs that include animal acts.
Help companions - Have your dogs and cats spayed or neutered. Commit to being a responsible animal guardian in your own home.
Volunteer - Help your neighbors and their canine or feline companions. Pet-sit or offer to take a dog for a much-loved walk while guardians are at work.
Plan to visit the Lakeshore Humane Society's Adoption Day, from noon to 4 p.m. this Saturday. The shelter is located at 431 E. Chestnut St. in Dunkirk.
Ann Bowers is a Humane Society Volunteer in Dunkirk.