Tagged: “be kind to animals week”

100 years of kindness

100 years of kindness

By Mickey Zeldes  May 7, 2015

This year marks the 100 year anniversary of National “Be Kind to Animals” Week sponsored by the American Humane Association.  Of course the thought isn’t that we should only be kind to animals one week a year but this week gives a focal point to highlight, cajole, educate, promote, urge, publicize, network, communicate, advertise, and otherwise reach out to our community to support the idea of kindness to animals.  Be Kind to Animals Week (BKTAW) is always the first full week of May so this really should have been my column last Friday but the week’s not over!  So here’s my plug.

There is a fascinating overview of a hundred years of celebrating BKTAW at the kindness100.org website.  It highlights the celebrities that have been chairpersons for this event over the years including Shirley Temple (1936), Betty White (1971), John Wayne (1973), Doris Day (1975), Clint Eastwood (1982), and Richard Dreyfuss (1991) among others.  Many of these stars have continued on in animal welfare for their entire careers.  It also includes some of the achievements this movement has garnered over the years. Interesting to see how far we’ve come and what issues are still the same after all these years.

It wasn’t until 1990 that congress passed the resolution officially recognizing the first week of May as National “Be Kind to Animals” Week.  It was California Senator, Pete Wilson, which introduced the bill in which he stated “The people of the United States are indebted to animal protection organizations, state humane organizations, and local animal care and control agencies for promoting respect for animals and pets, educating children about humane attitudes, and caring for lost, unwanted, abused, and abandoned animals.”

There are many ways to show kindness to animals; of course top of the list is to be a responsible pet owner.  Other things include buying humanely raised products, protecting wildlife, adopting shelter animals, protesting and reporting animal abuse, boycotting cruel entertainment, promoting spaying and neutering, role-modeling and teaching humane attitudes and more.  There are classroom lesson plans available for pre-school through grades 5 at the kindness100 site, and we have docents available for classroom presentations or tours of the shelter for both schools and other youth groups.  Call the shelter to arrange a program at 584-1582.

Show your pets you care about them by stopping by the shelter for a pet ID tag and microchip – they are both free to Rohnert Park and Cotati residents (only $5 for a tag and $10 for a chip to non-residents).  We’ll be holding a mini open house over the weekend to promote a couple of renovation projects that we are planning and holding a 50% off adoption special so it’s the perfect time to stop by!