According to statistics put out by the ASPCA, approximately 7.6 million animals enter shelters each year in the United States alone. In Britain, the RSPCA estimates that around 100 pets are abandoned by their owners each day. In total, the United States is also home to some 70 million stray cats and dogs — about five homeless animals for every one homeless person.
Animals of all species and breeds across the globe are abandoned and abused at an alarming rate, and because most of the world is forced to address pressing topics such as war, poverty, and human rights issues, those animals are often lost in all the chaos. This month, in order to counter that unintentional neglect and shed light on the needs of our furry friends, Random Acts has chosen “Animals & Pets” as its official October #GetKind theme, in the hopes that you’ll assist us in bringing them some much needed love.
How can I help?
There are several direct ways that you can get involved with animal rights causes or wildlife issues in your community:
- Volunteer to walk dogs at your local animal shelter. While animal shelter employees do their very best to ensure that all the abandoned pets under their care are looked after and healthy, their busy schedules often don’t allow them to spend as much time with each lonely pup as they’d like. Lend a hand (and a leash) and volunteer your own time if you can — those wagging tails will be enough of a thank you to keep you motivated for a long time.
- Help feral cats! Find out more regarding local “Trap-Neuter-Return” programs in your community. According to AlleyCat.org, “Case studies [have demonstrated] that Trap-Neuter-Return programs successfully reduce the size of feral cat colonies everywhere from Chicago blocks to South African university campuses”, and give these outdoor felines a healthy jumpstart. Remember to spread the word to neighbors and friends who might be hesitant to get involved that these feral cats are usually healthy and almost never spread disease to humans.
- Bake homemade pet treats to hand out to friends and community members. You can find a whole list of easy, healthy pet treat recipes here. Not only is it a kind, money-saving gesture for your friend, it’s guaranteed to be a big hit with their fuzzy (or scaley… or feathered) friend too!
- Donate to a local animal hospital or rescue program. Many animal hospitals and rescue programs rely on donations to keep their facilities and equipment in top shape. Find out which ones in your area need the most help and either donate what you can or find a way to host a donation drive in their name.
- Support your local wildlife. Whether you’re planting bee-friendly flowers (these Random Acts/Plantables bee bombs are a simple and fun way to #GetKind), leaving bird seed feeders in the trees behind your house, or cleaning up litter that might trap animals or make them sick, it’s important to remember that not all animals have an owner to look after them if they need a little extra love.
What else can I do?
Just because you aren’t able to directly assist the animals in your community, it doesn’t mean you can’t speak up on their behalf:
- Switch to cruelty-free products and household items if you can. The organization Cruelty Free International has assembled an online catalogue of companies and products that do not test on animals. You can search through dozens of categories to find what you’re looking for quickly!
- Get educated and spread the word. The internet is a big place, and oftentimes, false facts get tossed around so quickly that they become mainstream and widely accepted, despite being incorrect. Learn more about global wildlife, the history of the fight for animal rights, or interesting tidbits about animals in general — the more people know, the more they’ll be intrigued and ready to find ways to help in their own communities, so make sure to hit that “share” button!
- Write your local congressman. The Humane Society of the United States has included on its website links to both federal and state level legislation that affects animals around the globe and at home. Find out which causes you can support this month and start planning. Even if you don’t live in the United States, you can still get involved — keep an eye on animal rights news in your region, and raise your voice when you’re needed.
This month, we’re hoping you’ll join us in giving a voice to those that can’t speak up for themselves. Let’s #GetKind for those fuzzy friends and give back to the pets and wildlife that walk this little blue planet with us.