Be kind to animals: Golden Rule is for pets, too |

Be kind to animals: Golden Rule is for pets, too

Dawn Armstrong
Nevada Appeal News Service

Kindness to animals nurtures kindness overall.

With that in mind, the American Humane Association created the Be Kind to Animals campaign in 1915 – one of the oldest special week-long observances in existence in the United States. This year, the week was observed the first week of May, but what it promotes – compassion toward animals, awareness of their needs, and a celebration of the unique bond between humans and their pets – is something that should be remembered and practiced all year.

Here are 10 ways to be kind to animals every day of the year:

1. Spay or neuter your pets for their good health and to prevent surplus population. It’s cheap when divided by 15-18 years of loyal, loving companionship.

2. Find your next best friend at a local animal shelter. Then include him or her as part of your every day activity. You are the center of your pet’s life. Animals have feelings, too.

3. Show zero tolerance for abuse, including neglect. Educate others. Report suspected abuse immediately. Teach children to report to parents or other adults. If animals are being abused, it’s proven that children also may be suffering.

4. Respect our shared habitat and be a good neighbor. On the trail or beach and at the dog park, pick up after yourself and your dog. A discarded pop tab cuts animal paws. Birds get caught in plastic rings. Dog waste harms the environment.

5. Respect all wildlife and be bear aware. Educate weekenders about enjoying wild neighbors without teasing, handling, or tempting any with food. The animals will be healthier, your neighborhood will be safer, and our community can remain that rare place where people and animals live together in balance and harmony.

6. Help a senior or ill neighbor keep their pet companion. Offer to walk a dog or play with a cat. When needed, offer a ride to the veterinarian.

7. Educate yourself about your pet’s social and health needs. Budget for vaccinations and emergencies. Provide mental stimulation for your pet. Strengthen your bond with new tricks and gentle training.

8. Plan ahead when traveling with your pet. Make sure he or she is welcome and stress-free. Plan ahead for emergencies. Free Pet Kit available from the Lake Tahoe Humane Society and S.P.C.A. at 530-542-2857.

9. Keep current identification on your pet, and a current photo in case he or she gets lost. Ask your veterinarian about micro chipping.

10. Teach children to feel the same compassion that you do. Both kindness and violence start early and last a lifetime. Adult homicide starts with animal abuse.

Remember, if you are uncomfortable or in danger, your pet is, too. Practice the Golden Rule in all your life experiences.

• Provided by the Lake Tahoe Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to help “Keep Tahoe Kind.” Dawn Armstrong is the executive director of the Lake Tahoe Humane Society and S.P.C.A.