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Celebrating National Animal Advocacy Day!

April 15 2024

National Animal Advocacy Day is April 30th. This cause holds a special place in our hearts. Our furry friends are just as emotional and loving as humans, and they truly bring joy and fulfillment to our lives. Nevertheless, their destinies are not within their control; it is ultimately our responsibility to shape their futures. An Ardmore, OK veterinarian delves into this key issue below.

What Are The Root Causes Of Animal Welfare Problems?

Many factors contribute to the various issues that can affect animals and their overall welfare. Regrettably, simple carelessness and cruelty are nothing new. However, there are numerous other things at play, such as animals being used for medical experiments, inadequate veterinary care for domestic animals, the illegal trade of exotic animals, and the problematic practices of factory farming.

Another significant issue revolves around the use of animals for entertainment purposes. Disasters, war, and poverty can also have an impact. These tragedies have a profound impact on both people and animals.

Climate change and habitat loss are additional contributing factors. Many wild animals are greatly affected by habitat loss. The numbers on this are quite alarming.

  • Only 3 percent of America’s prairies and grasslands remain untouched.
  • More than half of America’s wetlands have been destroyed. 
  • In Europe, the percentage is even higher, with estimates ranging between 60 and 70 percent.
  • Approximately 94 percent of temperate forests have been impacted by farming and logging activities.
  • Almost 98 percent of old-growth forests have been lost.
  • Over half of the wetlands in the United States have been lost within the past two centuries. 
  • Overseas, the situation is even more dire: a staggering 60% to 70% of European wetlands have been lost.

How Do You Become An Advocate For Animals?

Making a difference through advocacy doesn’t require a significant investment of time or money. Every voice carries value in this realm, and even the smallest actions can pave the way for progress.

A great starting point would be with your own pets. You can get started just by doing some research on your furry friend. There’s always more to learn about pets’ needs, body language, and what makes them happy. Your veterinarian is also an excellent resource for this!

Getting your pet fixed can also have a significant impact, especially dogs and cats. While it may seem adorable and enjoyable to allow Fluffy or Fido to have a litter or two, it’s important to consider the impact on animal overpopulation.

Make sure that your pet is microchipped, spayed or neutered, and wearing identification tags. This is a straightforward way to ensure your pet has a safety net in case they ever go missing.

Buying responsibly is also crucial. If you’re in search of a new furry friend, consider animal welfare. Adopt, Don’t Shop is a fantastic guideline to abide by. If you decide to go through a store or breeder, pick one that has a good reputation.

You can also make a difference by showing your support for animal rescues, and advocating for laws and regulations that protect animals. Ask your Ardmore, OK vet for more information on this. 

Teaching Kids About Animal Welfare

Do you have any children? Now is an excellent opportunity to discuss with them the significance of advocating for proper animal welfare. 

Here are a few ways you can encourage the little ones to join in.

  • Visit a bookstore, thrift store, or even the library and get some fun kids’ books about animals. Many children find our furry friends fascinating and also have a lot of empathy towards them. Another option is to watch a documentary that is suitable for children and have a discussion about it.
  • Reach out to nearby shelters or rescues and inquire about any homemade items they may need. Toys, beds, and furniture pieces can be excellent options for do-it-yourself projects. (These projects are perfect for keeping kids entertained on rainy days!) Feel free to search online for detailed ideas and instructions. 
  • Consider hosting a yard sale or bake sale and donating the proceeds to a local animal welfare organization. It’s a great way to support a good cause while also getting rid of some unwanted items or showcasing your baking skills. Plus, you’ll be making a positive impact in your community by helping animals in need. So gather your unwanted items or whip up some delicious treats, and get ready to make a difference!
  • Participate in local children’s programs, like 4H.
  • Consider setting up bird feeders and planting native flora to create an inviting environment for pollinators and other local wildlife. This is also something youngsters can help with. 

Of course, if you have a household pet, letting the little ones help with things like feeding and brushing can help. Kids and pets make great companions and cuddle buddies!

What Is the Animal Welfare Act?

Established in 1966, the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) stands as the sole federal law in the United States that governs the treatment of animals in research, transportation, exhibition, and by dealers. Although it has undergone multiple amendments, there are still some remaining loopholes.  For more information and a handy reference guide, please check out this resource.

Looking to stay up-to-date on animal advocacy legislation?  The Animal Welfare Institute is an excellent resource for this. You can find the site at this location. It encompasses a wide range of subjects, spanning from horse-drawn carts to shark finning. You might want to consider checking out the ASPCA as well. They have a wealth of information that could be helpful to you.

What Progress Has Made With Animal Welfare?

This topic can be quite serious, but let’s make sure we end on a positive foot, paw, or hoof. Several new laws are on the books that are heading in the right direction.

The following are some examples:

  • California has recently implemented new mandates that call for the use of non-animal based tests for certain products, including pesticides, food additives, and chemicals. These mandates aim to promote the use of alternative testing methods that do not involve animals.
  • Michigan has recently joined the ranks of states that have taken a compassionate step forward. It has become the 16th state to pass legislation that guarantees that any dog or cat used in research will have the opportunity to find a loving home after their trial has concluded.
  • Pet stores in New York have made the decision to stop selling dogs, cats, and rabbits, which is a significant blow to the puppy mill industry.
  • Pet stores in Pennsylvania are now obligated to display breeder information and health documents regarding puppies.
  • The USDA has recently released the Organic Livestock And Poultry Standards, which require that animals be treated in accordance with specific welfare standards.

In addition, an increasing number of companies and restaurants are transitioning to selling eggs from hens that are not confined to cages. For example, Dollar Tree currently has 100 stores that offer cage-free products. Plant-based menus and options are becoming increasingly popular.

Schedule An Appointment With Your Ardmore, OK Veterinarian

Does your furry friend need a check-up? Get in touch with us, your Ardmore, OK pet hospital, today! Our commitment is to provide exceptional service and excellent care.

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