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5 Ways to Take Part in Be Kind to Animals Week

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May 2-8th is Be Kind to Animals Week, and we were inspired by the good people of Chicagoist and the American Humane Association to take a look at a few ways we can honor our friends in the animal kingdom this week, and all the weeks of the year. Plus, it's a good excuse to share a few of our favorite animal photos from our LAist Featured Photos pool.

Be Kind to Animals Week has been observed since 1915. It's a time to consider ways to honor the role animals play in our daily lives, and to explore new opportunities for advocacy, care, and appreciation.

Here in Los Angeles there are many organizations and agencies that can connect you with a pet who needs a loving home, or provide you with opportunities to get involved by volunteering. Some of our favorites that operate nationally and in our area include: LA Animal Services, Friends of Animals, Adopt a Pet.Com, SPCA LA, Center for Biological Diversity, Kitten Rescue, Last Chance for Animals, and the Lange Foundation--just to name a few. So what are the 5 ways you can take part in Be Kind to Animals Week?

The following information is courtesy the American Humane Association:

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Speak out for animals Get informed about policies and legislation that can impact the animals in your community and throughout the country. Also, register to receive Action Alerts from American Humane -- you’ll be able to speak out for animals with just the click of a mouse. Advocacy for animals can make a huge difference in their safety and well-being. Learn how. Report animal abuse
Animal cruelty and abuse is not only tragic for animals, but also an indicator that other forms of abuse such as domestic violence could be happening. If you see something that looks suspicious -- a dog chained in your neighbor’s yard that looks underfed, a child putting a cat in a box and kicking it around the yard -- don’t hesitate. Let someone know. Learn how.

Appreciate wildlife
All animals deserve to be treated humanly -- family pets and animals in the wild. Create an inviting space in your yard and garden for butterflies, hummingbirds and other creatures. If wildlife comes too close to home, look for ways to coexist with animals or to protect your property humanely. Learn how.

Adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue
Every year, an estimated 3.7 million animals must be euthanized at our nation’s shelters because they could not be adopted into loving homes. Help animals find a second chance at happiness by adopting your next pet from your local shelter or rescue group. American Humane has tips to find the animal companion that’s right for you and develop a bond that will last a lifetime. Learn how.

Take care of your pet
Pets are like children who never grow up. They need you to help keep them healthy and safe throughout their lives. Keep your animal’s vaccinations up-to-date. Make sure he’s wearing proper identification. Take your pet to the veterinarian regularly. Know what it takes to be a responsible pet owner. Learn how.