May 4-10 marks the American Humane Society's 99th annual Be Kind to Animals Week! We should always be mindful of our canine and feline companions, but especially during this week take a moment to reflect on the amazing relationship that our pets provide us with and think about what else we can be doing to help all of the less fortunate animals out there.

Here are ideas for celebrating the human-animal bond, both during Be Kind to Animals Week and throughout the entire year.  

1.     Speak out for animals. Get active in local animal welfare policies and legislation. Also register on American Humane’s website at to receive timely Action Alerts about issues affecting animals. You’ll be able to make a difference for animals with just the click of your mouse.

2.     Share kindness. Teach the people in your life – especially children – about the importance of being kind to animals.

3.     Identify your pets. Make sure your pets have current tags and are microchipped so they can be returned home quickly if they become lost.

4.     Make a donation to your local animal shelter. A donation can be any number of contributions, from your time or money, to needed items such as pet food or laundry detergent.

5.     Appreciate wildlife. Leave room in your yard for natural habitats, like a pond for fish or a birdhouse.

6.     Report animal abuse. While acts of violence against animals are tragic in their own right, they are also a red flag for other violent behavior, including domestic abuse and violent crime.

7.     Educate yourself about The Link® between violence to animals and violence to people to help stop the cycle of violence. When animals in a home are abused or neglected, it is a warning sign that others in the household may not be safe, and children who witness animal abuse are at a greater risk of becoming abusers themselves.

8.     Adopt a pet from a shelter or breed-rescue group. Local shelters and rescue groups are the best place to find companion animals – no matter what type you’re looking for. Keep in mind that one out of every four dogs in shelters is a purebred.

9.     Help end the tragedy of euthanasia of adoptable animals by not contributing to the pet overpopulation problem. If you have pets, make sure to have them spayed or neutered.