Teach your kids how to respect & help animals
Written by: Amy Cahill
What would you do to help dogs and cats that didn’t have a home?
Build doghouses outside the dog park. – Hayes, 7
No one loves animals as much as kids do. Children are fascinated by animals, big and small, wild and domestic. Often children relate to animals, and vice versa, in a way that adults simply cannot. Since many kids connect with and love animals, participating in family-oriented opportunities to protect and help animals is an excellent way to engage in philanthropy.
When people think of the effects of a recession, increased unemployment, underwater mortgages, and a declining stock market all come to mind. Many people have suffered during the recession, but the suffering isn’t limited to people. Animals are often the silent victims of a worsening economy.
Faced with a decline in income, or worse yet the loss of a job or home, many people can’t afford to keep their pets or no longer have room for them. These pets are abandoned or taken to a shelter. As a result, many animal shelters are overwhelmed and some are forced to turn away healthy animals and only accept injured ones. To add to the problem, fewer pets are being adopted because people have less disposable income.
Domesticated animals are not the only ones that need our help. Each year, a number of wild animals become endangered or extinct. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, there are more than 1,200 endangered animal species in the United States alone. Habitat loss, human overuse of natural resources, and poaching all contribute to the endangerment of these animals.
Animals and humans share the planet, and it is imperative that we help secure the future for all animals. There are countless opportunities available for us to help, and many of these opportunities are both enjoyable and educational for kids (and their parents, too).
- Volunteer to walk a shelter dog
- Raise a dog for someone with a disability
- Foster an animal
- “Adopt” an endangered animal
Most importantly, teach your child to respect and value all animals, from ants to elephants.
Education is power – teach your kids about animal welfare with these books:
- Before You Were Mine by Maribeth Boelts
- That Stripy Cat by Norene Smiley
- What Do You See?: A Lift-the-Flap Book About Endangered Animals by Stephen Krensky
- It's My World Too: Discover Endangered Animals and Their Habitats by Elena Pasquali