May 6 through May 12 marks this year’s “Be Kind to Animals Week,” a time of reflection and action in the name of animals across the country and around the world.
Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of the American Humane Association, stresses the importance of living this week of recognition all year long. “The need has never been greater,” Ganzert says.
With upwards of three to four million shelter animals euthanized each year and thousands more who are homeless, neglected, abused, or displaced by disaster or circumstance, “Be Kind to Animals Week” is an annual reminder that the time to take an active role in making the world a better place for animals is now.
“We have made gigantic strides in the past century, pioneering many of the key advances in protecting our nation’s children and animals, but there are still huge numbers in critical need of lifesaving care,” Ganzert emphasizes.
Whether you take time to volunteer with a rescue organization, adopt your next pet from an animal shelter, or make that veterinarian appointment you’ve been meaning to schedule for months to update your pet’s vaccinations, you too can be a part of this week of service to animals.
Betty White is serving as the chairperson for the 2012 “Be Kind to Animals Week”, an event that dates back to 1915. White, a beloved actress most remembered for her roles in The Golden Girls and Mary Tyler Moore, is a longtime friend of the American Humane Association and a steadfast animal advocate for the entirety of her lengthy career.
In an email, White encouraged her many fans to throw their support behind the millions of animals the week of compassion is meant to help. “As far as I’m concerned,” wrote White, “every week should be ‘Be Kind to Animals Week.’”
In honor of the American Humane Association’s event, White issued a challenge to her fans that she hopes will spread the word about animals in need by urging supporters to join American Humane Association’s new membership program. “In fact, as a challenge for my 90th birthday – I would like 9,000 members to join this very week!” White said.
The American Humane Association was formed in 1877 and has been at the forefront of the Compassion Movement ever since. The organization worked tirelessly to save wounded horses on World War I battlefields. Their Film and TV Unit, the only officially sanctioned organization that monitors the treatment of animal actors on movie and television sets, has been a big part of protecting animal actors since 1940. The group has been a leading force in the protection of and advocacy for companion animals, farm animals, and children.