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Be kind to animals
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Be kind to animals

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For many of us, every week is “Be Kind to Animals Week”. And that is as it should be. But the first week of May is a time set aside every year by the American Humane Association to give some special consideration to the matter. This year that special week is May 2-8.

We pet lovers are on the receiving end of our companion animals’ unconditional love on a daily basis. They bring us joy and happiness no matter how we are feeling or how much we have neglected them or how distracted we might be by the demands of our busy lives. Our pets never give up on us. To them, every day is “I love my human” day.

And it shouldn’t surprise us that we can learn a thing or two from our animal friends such as:

*Live each new day to the fullest.

*Nap when necessary – or when it just feels right.

*Trust your instincts.

*Think big. Be fearless. Defend your friends.

Origins of Special Week

The idea of celebrating a special Be Kind week began in 1915. It was established by the American Humane Association with the idea of encouraging communities to recognize the role that all animals play in our lives and to show respect for them.

American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, challenges us to commit to protecting and improving the lives of millions of animals during the year. Interestingly, this celebration is the oldest commemorative week in U.S. history and the nation’s longest-running humane education campaign.

Ways To Be Kind

As this year’s Be Kind to Animals week approaches, you may want to consider some ways that you can honor your pets – besides giving them an extra treat or pat. What can we do? Here are a few ideas:

*Adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue group. There is no better way to honor companion animals than to adopt one. Of course, we would like you to start your search at the Beatrice Animal Shelter, but please remember that we, along with shelters across the country, are all in this together. Whenever a deserving animal finds its forever home, it is a victory for all.

*Donate supplies to your local shelter. Check out our wish list on the Beatrice Humane Society website. Any donation of cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, cat litter, paper towels, office supplies, collars, leashes, and more is like money in the bank.

Other useful items you may come across in your spring cleaning are functional pet carriers, wire or plastic collapsible kennels, hand towels and washcloths, and twin-sized mattress covers.

*Foster a shelter animal. If this currently isn’t a good time to adopt a furry friend, consider being a foster home. You can help socialize an animal and acclimate him to living with humans and even other pets.

Food and treats and any medications are supplied by the shelter, and veterinary bills for shelter fosters are paid. Applications are available online or call the Beatrice Animal Shelter at 402-228-9100 for more information.

Showtime

If you have seen the Beatrice Humane Society’s Facebook page recently, you undoubtedly saw the photos of celebrities Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan. No…not that Blake Shelton or Luke Bryan. We are talking about a couple of new guys in town who are temporarily residing at the Beatrice Animal Shelter.

These two handsome dudes are looking for their forever homes…and the inhabitants don’t even have to like country music. The six-month-old shepherd mix pups will likely grow into 50-70 - pound adults. They enjoy the company of other dogs and could be taught to like cats and respectful children. Check out their photos online.

However you decide to observe Be Kind To Animals Week, be mindful of the bond between companion animals and their humans and give some thought as to how you can promote kindness to our animal friends every day of the year.

As French poet Anatole France said so well, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

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