World Animal Day, held annually on October 4, is a day when animal lovers from all over the world come together to celebrate animals, spread awareness, and help out shelters and other animal welfare organizations. Here are ten ways you can make every day World Animal Day:
1. Adopt. Have a little extra room in your home and your heart for a homeless animal? Adopting a pet is an easy and lasting way to change your life and the life of an animal in need for the better, and pet rescue is even good for your health! Not ready for the responsibility of a puppy? Here are 10 reasons to adopt a senior pet. And if you need some help getting prepared, here are tips on establishing your adoption plan before you hit the shelter so you’ll be more than ready to take home your new best friend.
2. Foster. When adopting isn’t an option, fostering is a wonderful alternative that helps prepare an animal for their forever home and offers relief to over-populated shelters. Check out the 411 on fostering to see if it’s a good fit for you and your family.
3. Volunteer. Put your talents and passion to work by volunteering your time at a local shelter. Volunteers are always in demand for assistance in things like transportation, exercise and playtime, cleaning, and a host of other tasks. Before you sign up, read up on 10 things every shelter volunteer should know and find out how to make the most of your volunteering experience. Not sure where to even start? Head over to TAILS resource page to find shelters in your area.
4. Help get shelters the supplies they need. Aside from extra hands, shelters are constantly in need of everything from towels to food to toys. Contact your favorite shelter and ask if they have a wishlist, and then pick up a few items for them (could be something as seemingly inconsequential as a package of paper towels) or organize a shelter drive in your community.
5. Spread awareness. Sometimes the most valuable thing we have to give is our voice. Use your Facebook page to teach your friends about important animal causes, write a letter to a newspaper or website, or start a leafleting campaign.
6. Think about what you eat. You don’t have to go fully vegan to make a difference for animals (although if you want to try, here are some tips to get started). Try to make just one day a week meatless, or cut back on how much animal protein you consume by supplementing your diet with healthy plant-based fats and grains.
7. Shop cruelty free. If you love animals and are concerned for their welfare you can extend this compassion to the things you buy (or don’t buy). Learn how to shop for cruelty-free cosmetics and read up on these other tips for buying products that don’t harm animals.
8. Learn to recognize animal cruelty. Being a voice for animals sometimes means speaking up for them in the face of danger or neglect. Here’s what to look for.
10. Share the love. Show the animal in your life just how much you care about them every day with lots of hugs, kisses, and cuddles. Keep your pet healthy with a well-balanced diet and lots of exercise. Never miss a chance to share joy and happiness with your furry (or not so furry!) friend.
What other ways can you celebrate animals? Share in the comments!