Teaching children the importance of kindness, Be Kind to Animals Week helps shine a spotlight on how we can help all animals through all our actions, from pet rescue to food choices. This May awareness week includes free lessons and more for schoolchildren but its lessons are one that we can all take to heart.
When is Be Kind to Animals Week?
Be Kind to Animals week is celebrated every year on the first full week in May. Launched by American Humane in 1915, this pet holiday ranks as the oldest commemorative week in the US. Share photos on your favorite social channels with hashtag #bekindtoanimalsweek.
“I hope every American will join us in celebrating ‘Be Kind to Animals Week’ and making a difference for all the creatures of the Earth,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “By teaching our children the value of our animal friends and adopting a humane lifestyle, we can build a better world – not just during these few days, but all year round.”
How to Celebrate This Week
American Humane is asking everyone to take an online pledge to do four simple things to improve the world for animals and is making a variety of free humane education materials available online to parents, teachers and children in both English and Spanish.
Free downloadable materials include lessons and teaching sheets for pre-K to Grade 5 students, “Be Kind to Animals” posters, and ideas to celebrate and protect Earth’s creatures.
To lead by example and make a difference in the lives of millions of animals, American Humane is asking animal lovers of all ages to pledge to make kindness a year-round lifestyle choice by doing four simple things:
- Buying humanely raised foods with the American Humane Certified™ seal to support the good treatment of farm animals;
- Adopting from a shelter/rescue, and when choosing small, “nontraditional” animal companions (such as reptiles, small mammals, fish, and amphibians), finding them at an American Humane Certified™ pet provider;
- Choosing movies and television shows that have earned the “No Animals Were Harmed®” end credit verifying the protection of animal actors;
- Visiting American Humane Certified™ zoos, aquariums and conservation centers caring for the many endangered and disappearing species of the world.
The 100th Anniversary
Celebrating 100 years of helping dogs, cats and other animals in need, the oldest commemorative week in U.S. history took place from May 3 – 9, 2015.
To mark the American Humane Association’s centennial salute to compassionate education, a year-long “Kindness 100” campaign was launched complete with a national media tour, instructional roadshow to schools with a traveling museum aboard a fleet of Red Star Rescue trucks which save animals in disasters, and more.
Through the years, many animal-loving luminaries have made Be Kind to Animals Week such a success over the years, including:
- Milton Berle
- Bruce Boxleitner (star of Tron, Babylon 5)
- Carole Burnett
- Casper the Friendly Ghost
- U.S. President Bill Clinton
- Norm Crosby
- Doris Day
- Dennis the Menace
- Richard Dreyfuss
- Patty Duke
- Clint Eastwood
- Lorne Greene (star of the television series Bonanza and Battlestar Galactica)
- Dan Haggerty (star of the 1970s TV series The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams)
- Tom T. Hall (country music singer/songwriter)
- U.S. President Warren G. Harding
- Shirley Jones (Academy Award winner, star of the 1970s TV series The Partridge Family)
- Jerry Mathers (star of the 1960s television series Leave It to Beaver)
- Jay North (star of the 1960s TV series Dennis the Menace)
- Minnie Pearl (country comedienne)
- Porky Pig
- Jon Provost (star of the TV series Lassie)
- Romper Room children’s TV series
- Eleanor Roosevelt
- Shirley Temple
- Tom from the classic animated cartoon shorts Tom and Jerry
- Joan Van Ark (star of the 1980s television series Knot’s Landing)
- Robert Wagner
- John Wayne
- Betty White