Today is World Kindness Day! The world certainly could use more kindness, compassion, and altruism, especially toward ourselves and to others. On that note, here are a few different ways you can demonstrate genuine acts of kindness toward animals, and by extension, your community:
- Care for pets. Learning how to gently and correctly handle pets is a crucial part of being a responsible pet ownership. It’s important that children know how to properly approach and handle pets for a number of reasons. Caring for a pet can also help children (as well as adults) develop a sense of empathy, compassion, and responsibility.
- Take your pet shopping to pick out toys, food, or other supplies for the animals at your local animal shelter.
- Put together a gift basket for somebody from your pet. Bonus points: make a paw-printed card to go with it. (Make sure it’s made with non-toxic ink or water-based paint.)
- Foster a shelter animal.
- If you have a sick or elderly friend or neighbor, offer to walk their dog or otherwise take care of their pet. If the owner has transportation issues, offer to help them transport their pet to the vet if they need it.
- Volunteer at and visit an animal shelter, rescue organization, or sanctuary.
- Walk or run a 5K that benefits a pet or wildlife charity organization.
- Foster a military pet on behalf of a service man or woman while they are serving abroad.
- Learn how to report animal cruelty. Depending on the state, police departments may handle these investigations while elsewhere it falls under the jurisdiction of animal control or municipal agencies.
- Visit the zoo or aquarium. These organizations care deeply for the animals in their care and work hard to conserve endangered species.
- Plant a butterfly garden.
- Choose cruelty-free products.
- Donate to a spay/neuter program in your area to help reduce the feral cat population in your area.
- Leave wild animals in their natural homes. If you see or find an injured or obviously sick animal, or suspect a baby animal has been abandoned, contact your local wildlife rehabilitation organization to learn what to do next (if anything).
- When out on a walk in the woods, by a stream, or on a beach, pick up plastic rings, bottles, and other litter that can harm animals.