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Posted on 04-27-2016

Animals may outnumber humans, but we have louder voices to speak up for the treatment of ALL creatures. There may not be a better time to help them out this year than Be Kind to Animals Week, May 8-14.

The American Humane Association met over 100 years ago to discuss the safety and humane treatment of animals after the outbreak of World War I led to the deaths of many horses during the war. A nationwide “Mercy Sunday” was held in May 1915, followed by a week to educate about the welfare of animals.

For over a century, the American Humane Association has used this week to encourage all Americans to advocate for the fair and humane treatment of animals. Although much work has been done over that time, there are still roughly 7.6 animals brought to local shelters every year, with nearly 3 million of the cats and dogs never leaving. Mistreatment of these animals also continues to be a problem, with 18 percent of reported animal abuse happening to cats and nearly 65 percent to dogs.

Here are a few ways to continue the advocacy for humane treatment of these creatures during Be Kind to Animals Week:

Show Love to Your Own Pets

This week is for all animals, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the loved animals that are closest to you. The easiest way to support Be Kind to Animals Week may be to show your own pet some love by making sure they’re well-fed, properly groomed, healthy and loved.

Adopt a Pet

It can be fun to look through a pet store for your new family member, but many more animals are waiting to be adopted at local shelters. Less than 650,000 of the cats and dogs that are brought to the 13,600 nationwide animal shelters get returned to their owners. Many of the stray cats and dogs that are brought to shelters don’t find a new home, with only 35 percent of dogs and 37 percent of cats getting adopted.

Spay or Neuter Your Own Pets

Another way to reduce the number of animals that end up in local shelters is to prevent your pets from unsustainable breeding. The cost of spaying or neutering a pet is less than that to raise puppies or kittens for a year, yet twice as many pets enter animal shelters as strays. This largely stems from unplanned litters from pets that have not been spayed or neutered. For more information on the details of these procedures or low cost options, call us at Laveen Veterinary Center at 602-559-9600.

Find Out About Local Wildlife Conservation Projects

Consider researching ongoing events and projects that contribute to sustaining habitats for local wildlife. There are many of these projects throughout the Phoenix area, such as the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, Keep Arizona Beautiful or the Arizona Wildlife Federation.

Get Active Stopping Animal Cruelty

The definition is wide-ranging when it comes to animal cruelty. Whether it be dog fighting rings that pit canines against each other for sport, puppy mills that breed the small animals in almost unlivable conditions, or a neighbor’s pet that is terribly underfed by its owner, there is much work to be done in stopping these treatments. The ASPCA offers many ways to report instances of animal cruelty and organizations like the American Humane Association accept donations for these animals.

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