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World Animal Day — 12 Ways to Get Involved

World Animal Day — 12 Ways to Get Involved
The first World Animal Day took place on March 24, 1925. In 1929, the event was changed to October 4th, the Feast Day of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology and animals. Photo: Shutterstock.com | A Katz

October 4 is World Animal Day, an international celebration for animal rights and welfare. The day seeks to mobilize those involved in the animal welfare movement, so that they can be a united global force to make the world a better place for all animals.

The mission of World Animal Day: “Each one of us can make a difference – together we make change! Be part of something special.”

How can the veterinary community get involved? Oh, let us count the ways!

1) Create an Event

Make a difference on World Animal Day. Find out how to create an event here.

2) Make a Pledge

Write on the World Animal Day Pledge Board.

3) Volunteer

Volunteer for a local animal welfare organization, such as an animal shelter or local pet food bank, many of which depend on volunteers. There are a variety of ways to use veterinary or other skills.

4) Offer Services

On Oct. 4th, dedicate the date to a free event or discounted services at your clinic or hospital. Offer low-cost spay and neuter services for low-income clients. Offer free clinic worships, such as educating clients about pet obesity, CPR, or the importance of parasite and heartworm preventative care.

5) Foster Pets

Provide a temporary home to animals in need by starting a pet foster care program at your clinic or hospital. Enlist colleagues to foster rescue animals and spread the word among your clients about the need for pet foster parents.

6) Donate Blood

Veterinary surgeons could not perform many important and lifesaving operations without canine and feline blood donors. The Association of Veterinary Hematology and Transfusion Medicine maintains a list of veterinary blood banks. Share information with clients about pets and blood donations.

7) Take Up a Collection

Collect old towels and blankets, cleaning supplies, pet food, or any other useful odds and ends for the local animal shelter, and tell your clients if they contribute, you’ll deliver.

8) Use a Penny Jar

Put a jar on your receptionist counter and a sign asking for financial donations to be used for the pets of low-income clients. Update the signage  to track the dollar amount in the fund. Post photos of animals that have received services thanks to the donated money. This idea also works after a natural disaster, when funds can be used to provide temporary assistance to pet owners in need. In the event of a local disaster, a crowdfunding site such as a GoFundMe page, can be an effective way to raise funds that will be used to help clients and their pets that have been adversely impacted.

9) Plan a Charity Walk

Plan a dog-friendly and cat-stroller-friendly charity walk and/or run. Enlist the help of your local running store. Start and end at your clinic or hospital. Set up a table where people can learn about the veterinary services your clinic provides. Donate the proceeds to a local animal shelter or add them to your needy-client fund. Start with a written plan.

10) Save the Whales

Cats and dogs aren’t the only animals in need. The countries of Japan, Norway and Iceland permit the killing of hundreds of whales, including pregnant females, each year. Contribute to Save the Whales, a California-based organization working to end the practice of killing whales. There are a number of organizations benefiting wild animals, from those that are focused on ending the inhumane practice of shark finning to those that are trying to save polar bear habitat and fight to protect sea turtles. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) maintains a Red List of Threatened Species.

11) End Balloon Releases

Balloons are beautiful, often symbolic gestures when released into the sky — usually commemorating a loved one or important event — but balloons can travel hundreds of miles and land in rivers, creeks and oceans. Whales, dolphins and turtles can be killed by ingesting balloons that they’ve mistaken for one of their favorite meals, jellyfish (ingested plastic — balloons, plastic bags and the like — can cause them to starve). Educate local schools, organizations and businesses not to participate in balloon releases. Use reusable shopping bags, cups and food containers.

Learn More

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