Editorial: Get ready for Be Kind to Animals Week

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 3, 2006

May 7 to 13 will mark Be Kind to Animals Week, an annual celebration started in 1915 by the American Humane Association to celebrate the unique bond between humans and animals.

Animals play an amazing role in our lives. The can be best friends, working companions and even lifesavers. They make a huge difference in our lives, and we urge people to get involved and make a difference in animals’ lives.

There are many things we can do to help.

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First, never tolerate animal cruelty. Report it if you see someone abusing or neglecting one of man’s best friends. Speak out for the animal who cannot speak for itself.

If you are in the market for a pet, check with the Albert Lea Animal Shelter and Humane Society of Freeborn County first. Most of the animals these entities have in their care have been abandoned or abused. They deserve a better chance at life. They’ve been screened to make sure they’re healthy and adoptable. Encourage your friends to adopt shelter animals as well.

Consider making a donation to the local shelter or the Humane Society. The Humane Society

of Freeborn County currently does not have a shelter, so it relies on the generosity of foster families. There are more homeless pets than foster homes. The Humane Society is hoping to find a building or land to put a building on for a shelter. There are many other needs out there as well; a call to the office will tell you what their specific needs are at this time.

Consider giving your time. Foster homes are always needed to care for these adoptable pets until a permanent home can be found.

Spay or neuter your pets. This controls the pet population, plus makes your pet easier to live with.

Keep pets’ vaccinations current. This not only protects them, but you as well.

Teach children how to be kind to animals. Children of all ages love to learn about animals. Teach them not only how to care for their own pets, but also how to treat wildlife.

Take a group of kids on a nature hike or a tour of a local animal shelter. The lessons they learn while they’re young will stay with them for a lifetime.

We also need to remember that we need to be kind to animals not just one week during the year, but all 52. Our furry friends deserve nothing less.