A Week for Animals

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kat1Nearly a century ago, the American Humane Association started an annual event that takes place during the first full week in May: Be Kind to Animals Week. This event, which takes place typically in May, focuses on humane education about all types of animals. Animals play an important role in our lives and deserve humane treatment – whether they are living in the wild or inside your house!

Let’s take some time in this month’s Internet Challenge™ to learn about different ways that we can care for and celebrate animals. We will come to understand that kindness and respect for animals carries over to how we treat each other. We begin our online adventure.

Our first Web site is American Humane.org – Be Kind to Animals Week and it can be found at


Read the information on this Web page and then answer these questions. Be sure to click “learn how” in each of the short paragraphs. Then, click your browser’s “Back” button to return to the main page.

1. What kind of meter could animal abuse represent?kat3




2. What does this phrase mean: to give an animal a second chance at happiness?




3. If wildlife comes too close to home, look for ways to coexist with animals or to protect your property humanely. Which description below is an accurate definition for the word “coexist?”

a. To exist together, at the same time, or in the same place

b. To live in peace with another or others despite differences

c. To live together in harmony

d. all of the above


4. Give one example of how to live humanely with wildlife.




5. Explain in your own words why trapping and relocating skunks is not a good choice.





6. Your parents are going to allow you to adopt a dog. What types of items should you have for your dog before you it comes home with you?



7. For what purpose is a dog den used?kat2




8. How does exercise help a cat?




9. What are microchips and why are they used?


Awesome answers!


Our next destination is called Pawprints and Purrs, Inc. – Be Kind to Animals Week. It is located at


Read the information on this page, and then answer the following two-part question.

10. (a) List two objectives of “humane education.”



(b) Explain what humane education can teach us.




Good work!


Our next Web site is from the Tampa Bay Online-Be Kind to Animals Week Starts Today located at


This article, even though it was written in 2008, has excellent information. Read it, and then answer this question.

11. How many years ago did the governments of the United States and Canada grant their official endorsements to “Be Kind to Animals Week?”





The next Web site, The American Humane Society, discusses cat-friendly cities in the United States. Read the article at


(A) Even though there are more cat owners in the United States, increasing numbers of cats are brought into animal shelters. What steps do you think should be taken so that this does not happen?

(B) In what ways are these cat-friendly cities in the United States making a difference?



Good work!


Extension Activity – Choose one or all of them!

  • Do something special for an animal! Looking at the list of to-do items listed on this Web page, name three items that would be your “top three” for an animal. Write down your opinions as to why they are important and hold a roundtable discussion with your teacher and classmates. Talk about it!
  • Make a difference for pets and wildlife in our community or in the world! Create a presentation that shows how you would improve the lives of animals (either pets or wildlife). Use the Web sites in this activity for resources. Then, either with pencil/pen/paper and art tools or appropriate computer software design your slideshow. Include at least eight slides in your presentation along with reasons as to how your ideas would make a difference for all animals. After your project is completed, share it with your teacher and classmates. Talk about it!
  • Design a poster advertising this event to your school or your community. How would you persuade people to get involved? Use appropriate software or paper, pencil, and art tools to create your announcement. After you are done, present your poster to your teacher and classmates. Talk about it!
  • Design a 21st century animal shelter. What features would it have to help the lives of abandoned animals? Create your 2D or 3D model building with special design software (suggestion: free Google Sketchup 7.0 – only with teacher/parent permission), boxes or with paper, pencil, and art tools. After you have finished it, present it to your teacher and classmates. Talk about it!
  •  Give your opinion on the following statement: "Kindness toward animals is a building block of a humane and compassionate society." Be prepared to talk about it!


For ideas, visit Be Kind to Animals Week – Associated Humane Societies and Popcorn Park Zoo. Find this site at http://www.ahscares.org/showarchive.asp?id=440


Congratulations! You have done an amazing job completing this month’s Internet Challenge™

Geri Ruane

Answers to May's Internet Challenge™

1.    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

2.    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. To give an animal a second chance at happiness means taking an animal that is unwanted, adopting it, and giving it the love and care it deserves.

3.    (A) all of the above

4.    Students’ own answers.

5.    While humane traps will not harm these animals, relocation is a poor choice. Studies have shown that many species of wildlife do not survive when placed in a new territory because of aggression from other animals, unfamiliarity with hazards such as roadways, or the inability to find food and water. Moving an animal, even a few miles away from its home, can have devastating effects. If the animal is a female, you may be removing her from her babies that depend on her for their survival.

6.    Make sure you have everything your pet will need before you bring it home, such as an ID tag, food, bowls, leash, collar, dog den, and toys.

7.    Dogs need a sanctuary, a place that is large enough for them to fit inside and feel secure and safe. “A home away from home” – a dog den could be a chair, a place behind the couch, or a crate. The dog den can be used to housetrain your dog for short periods of time or as a refuge from the hubbub of family activities.

8.    Cats need physical exercise and a lot of mental stimulation. Without it, they can get bored and develop behavior problems. Cats like to chase things because they are natural hunters. Create games that challenge and excite them where they can hunt and catch their imaginary prey.

9.    Microchips are tiny capsules injected painlessly under an animal’s coat. Each chip contains a unique ID number that can be read by a microchip scanner and matched with owner information in a comprehensive database. According to the American Human Association, microchips are effective and safe, and provide excellent backup identification for pets.

10. (A) One objective of humane education is to create a culture of empathy and caring by stimulating one's moral development and sense of responsibility. In addition, the end goal of humane education is to create a more compassionate and responsible society.
(B) Humane education teaches people how to accept and fulfill their responsibility to companion animals. It teaches people to understand the consequences of irresponsible behavior and finally, humane education encourages the value of all living things.

11. The American and Canadian official endorsements were granted in 1952, which is 57 years ago.

12. (A) Students’ own opinions.
(B) These major metropolitan areas have provided a wealth of resources for cats and their owners as well as educated the public about felines and their health (including veterinary care, microchipping and cat-friendly local ordinances.)

Extension Activities – students own answers.

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