Three ways you can help improve the treatment of animals
In April of 1866, the charter for American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was signed. Every April since then, this organization has sponsored a month-long initiative to raise awareness of animal cruelty. Here are three ways that you can participate this April.
Set an Example
There is a cultural element to how animals are perceived and treated in any given country or era. For example, even fifty years ago most household pets were thought of as animals rather than “furry children” and treated as such. While people still loved their pets, they were more likely to make them live outside 24/7, feed them whatever scraps were at hand, and let them roam and breed at will. Now, such behaviors are increasingly viewed as unacceptable due to changing cultural norms. This process is still ongoing—there are still some parts of this country where dog fighting and other forms of animal cruelty are rampant. But, by standing up as a responsible pet owner and taking the following actions, you can help change how pets are perceived and treated in America.
- Spay or neuter your pets
- Get an annual veterinary checkup
- Keep animals indoors or ensure adequate water and shelter outdoors
- Don’t let pets roam
- Never keep more pets than you can care for
Support a Cause
The ASPCA is involved in a wide variety of efforts to fight animal cruelty, including public awareness campaigns, political action, and on-the-ground efforts to save abused animals. You can contribute to these efforts by donating money or your time. Some of the top ASPCA efforts include:
- Shutting down puppy mills
- Ending dog fighting
- Rescuing animals from hoarders
- Rescuing animals after natural disasters
- Collecting and analyzing evidence for legal cases
- Ending horse soring
- Improving treatment of farm animals
To show your support of ASPCA in general this April, participate in their “Go Orange” campaign to raise awareness of all ASPCA efforts. Wear orange to work, host a charitable event in your area, or get a snazzy orange collar, bandana, or outfit for your pet to wear in public.
Rescue a Pet
Animals rescued by the ASPCA and other advocacy groups need permanent homes. If you are looking for a new pet, make your local animal shelter your first stop. You can also try connecting with various breed-specific rescue organizations if you are looking for a specific purebred animal. If you can’t adopt an animal yourself, you can still contribute to the effort to care for homeless animals by donating as little as 60 cents a day to the ASPCA.