Spring is in the air, and it’s beautiful outside! While we’re all getting out into the sunshine with our best furry friends, let’s not forget about the neglected and abused animals that don’t have wonderful people in their lives. April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. If you want to help, here are some things you can do:
Support Your Local No-Kill Shelters and Rescue Groups
Our local shelters and rescue groups work very hard to keep animals in our communities safe, to heal and train them, and to adopt them out to good homes. They can use the support of the community through donations of food, toys, litter, blankets, and many other items as well as monetary donations. They can use foster families, dog-walkers, and people to play with and pet cats. They need your help to keep up their good work!
Adopt, Don’t Shop
It is so important to adopt your new dog from a shelter or rescue group. DO NOT support puppy mills and backyard breeders. These are often filthy places where animals are crammed into cages their whole lives. And who wants to pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars to support these places when you can adopt the perfect pet for a very low cost from your local shelter?
When you see an animal being mistreated, such as physical abuse, lack of veterinary care with obvious wounds, being left outside in freezing temperatures with no shelter, being left in a hot car, or chained up outside for days without water, then report it! Many people will see this and not do anything, so it is up to you to help these animals. You can make a report to your local police department. There are laws against animal cruelty. If you don’t get a good response, look into your local animal advocacy groups for help.
Spread the Word!
Talk to your friends, co-workers, family and neighbors about animal cruelty and how they can make a difference. Encourage them to adopt and volunteer at their local animal shelter. It is really a very fulfilling thing to do, and many teenagers are looking for volunteer opportunities anyway!
How do you plan to help and spread awareness about animal cruelty this month? What is your favorite way to volunteer or help out animals in your community?