It’s Be Kind to Animals Week, and a great time to share your love of animals with the kids in your life. Here are a few of our top ideas:
Volunteer Together Sure, many shelters require volunteers to be 18 to handle animals—but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing kids can do to help! Kids can hold a bake sale for a local shelter, help with web design or do even more—check out the stories of ASPCA Kids of the Year Olivia Boulet and Mimi Ausland for ideas. Call your favorite shelter to ask what your kids can do.
Get Crafty If you’ve got a future artist on your hands, consider getting messy in the craft room for shelter animals. What can you do? For starters, you can make cat toys for homeless kitties in your area. Check out this page for instructions. (Hint: You’ll need some old socks.)
Get ‘Em Involved in Pet Care Whether you decide your 12-year-old is ready for his own guinea pig or you want your 14-year-old to feed the dog dinner each day, getting your kids involved in caring for your pets will help them build a lasting love for animals. Where to start? Check out our guide to how much pet care kids can likely handle. Then send them to ASPCAKids.org’s Pet Care section.
The weather’s warming up and dogs across America are getting restless. For urbanites that means heading to the nearest dog park! But before you do, be sure to keep your (and your dog’s!) manners in mind. Here are our top tips for dog park etiquette:
Spay or Neuter Your Pet. Want to take your dog to that fun dog park down the street? Then your dog needs to be spayed or neutered as most dog parks require it. It just makes sense.
Don’t Be a Bully. Sure, we know your pup is an angel…most of the time. But if you simply feel your dog is having a bad day, leave the park and plan to come back at a later time. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Be Watchful. While dog parks are also great places for humans to meet, remember to keep your attention on your dog and her playmates at all times. If you see signs that play’s not going well, you can step in to stop interaction before things get out of hand.
Scoop the Poop. Accidents happen, but leaving it behind is downright rude. It could result in you being fined, and your dog being banned from the park.
Control Those Parasites! Fleas and ticks can spread like wildfire at the dog park. If you take your dog to play, be sure to give him a year-round flea control medication like PetArmour, the exclusive flea and tick sponsor of the ASPCA.
Great news! Last week the ASPCAteamed up with animal shelters in Louisiana, Tennessee and New Jersey to help find homes for 43 dogs.
The transport—which began at the LA/SPCA in New Orleans—made a pit stop at AnimalWorks, a spay/neuter clinic in Tennessee where staff helped walk and care for the dogs. The transporters then delivered their precious cargo to St. Hubert’s in New Jersey. The dogs, including a nine-month-old, 118-pound Great Dane puppy named Leo, now have a better chance at finding a home.
“In much of the South where euthanasia rates are high, there are no shelters that can help these animals. The most viable solution is to transport them to areas of where they are most likely to be adopted,” explains Sandy Monterose, ASPCA Senior Director of Community Outreach.
How Does It Work? This week’s transport operation is the first of several between the LA/SPCA and St. Hubert’s in the coming months. Each transport will bring approximately 40-60 dogs from the Southeast—where there is an oversupply—to shelters in the Northeast, where dogs are in higher demand. The ASPCA Animal Relocation Initiative will fund all the transports.
“The ASPCA Relocation Initiative works collaboratively to help animals at risk, moving them to where they have the greatest opportunity to find a home,” says Monterose. “We’re happy we can help.”
When the ASPCA arrived at a puppy mill in Holly Springs, Mississippi, we found 100 underweight dogs living in their own feces. The amount of neglect was shocking: Skin disease, rotted teeth, malnutrition and infection were widespread.
One victim named Binah was dirty, skinny and unable to walk due to years spent in a tiny, overcrowded cage. She was a mother dog, forced to breed, with little regard for her health and well-being. When puppy mill moms like Binah can no longer produce, they are deemed worthless and discarded. Fortunately for Binah, the ASPCA arrived just in time—but in puppy mills across America, other dogs like her still need our help.
Few causes are able to unite people such as Lorenzo Borghese from ABC’s The Bachelor, actors Bo Derek and John Corbett, school children and animal welfare organizations, but all of them got together last week to participate in the “Horses on the Hill” event on Capitol Hill. The ASPCA was proud to co-host with the Animal Welfare Institute and The Humane Society of the United States publicly urge legislators to stop our nation’s horses from being slaughtered at home or abroad.
The ASPCA’s very special guest at Horses on the Hill, nine-year-old Declan Gregg of New Hampshire, has created an organization and blog called Children 4 Horses. Declan spoke eloquently about the urgency of protecting our horses. He was joined by Senators Mary Landrieu and Scott Brown as well as Representatives Jim Moran, Ed Whitfield and David Rivera—all of whom spoke strongly to the need for passing a ban on horse slaughter.
Killing American horses for human consumption is simply not acceptable. The ASPCA’s founder, Henry Bergh, loved all animals, but initially focused his efforts on stopping horse abuse. Mr. Bergh would not have been surprised by the people who turned out in D.C. to help horses because he believed animal protection was an issue that crossed party lines and class boundaries. More than 140 years have passed since Mr. Bergh founded the ASPCA, but our commitment to horse protection remains steadfast.
Horses in this country are in grave danger, and they need your help! You can make a difference by contacting your Congress members to request that they cosponsor and support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.