Be Kind to Animals Week & National Pet Month – A Simple Request for a Lifelong Commitment…
When it comes to animals, there is no shortage of special days, weeks, and months devoted to either celebrating or promoting awareness about them in one fashion or another. For example, this week happens to be “Be Kind to Animals Week” and it is also “National Pet Month.”
In the social circle I am part of, I am quite certain we really don’t need any particular daily, weekly, or monthly reminder to know that every day is pet day and that animals should be treated with kindness. But, the point of these tributes is much larger in scope because not everyone understands the love and companionship a pet can provide and not everyone understands that animals have feelings and deserve kindness and compassion. That is why it is so important to take advantage of these national and worldwide events to promote awareness to a broader audience when we can.
Be Kind to Animals Week (May 5 – 11) was founded in 1915 by the American Humane Association (AHA) with the intention of promoting several key messages about animals, such as reducing the numbers of animals euthanized in shelters by encouraging pet adoptions, increasing awareness on proper pet responsibility to ensure pets live long and healthy lives, to respect wildlife, and by reporting cases of animal abuse.
National Pet Month began over twenty years ago and originated in England where it is celebrated in April each year. We now celebrate it here in the United States in May and very similar to the intentions of the AHA, the five specific goals of National Pet Month are to promote the benefits of pet ownership, support pet adoptions, promote responsible pet ownership, increase public awareness of services available from professionals who work with animals, and raise awareness of the role, value and contribution to society of service animals.So, what message do we take from this if we are already loving, compassionate, and devoted animal lovers who understand each and every day the joy having a pet can bring to our lives? How do we make the most out of a national event so that it becomes so much more than a catch phrase of the day, week, or month to those that might not know about animal abuse, or that there are millions of animals in a shelter waiting for a forever home, or that a commitment to an animal is for a lifetime and includes full responsibility for the pet, as in proper diet, exercise, toys, visits to the veterinarian, and a warm, safe, and loving home.
All I can ask is what I always ask. Please do me a favor and have the message catch on like the wave at a national sporting event. If we only do one thing today, let’s do it collectively and with intention. If each one of us reading this post were to grab the icon of the graphic I created for National Pet Month, or the graphic from AHA and use it as their facebook profile picture, for example, that would start to send a very strong message of solidarity (AHA has other great images that include a dog, a bird, and a rooster if you prefer that). Share my post, or write one of your own, or share someone else’s, but share it somewhere you normally wouldn’t so that if each one of us does that, maybe we can start to reach that mainstream audience outside of our animal box that doesn’t know as much about animal advocacy, kindness, compassion, and responsibility as we do.
It may not make a huge difference, but then again, you just never know…
Editors Note: I also wanted to thank all of you who stopped by to comment on last Saturday’s post - “Making the Grade – What Makes a Blog Post Successful?” The feedback and response was incredible and I really enjoyed hearing everyone’s unique perspective on the subject. The one thing we all had in common, however, is that we are all respectfully “imperfect bloggers” and proud of it!