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9 ways you can help animals

World Animal Welfare Day is on Friday, 4 October 2019. It aims to raise awareness of endangered species globally, that need rescuing, preserving and protecting. We’ve put together 9 ways that you can help animals here in New Zealand

Words Katie Kuo

Volunteer at a local animal shelter or SPCA

Animal shelters rely on volunteers for different forms of help, including walking dogs, grooming, feeding cats, cleaning bowls, volunteering at a store, handing out flyers or putting up signs. Contact your local shelter and ask whether they need an extra hand.

Be kind to animals

We share the world with all animals, and so it’s our responsibility to treat animals with kindness and respect. Teach children to be gentle with pets, and lead by example by being compassionate with the animals you encounter each day. 

Support cruelty-free products 

Take a stand against animal testing by supporting products that state that they’re cruelty-free. These include make-up and skincare, as well as clothing that is fur-free. Support brands that are cruelty-free, and avoid companies that test on animals.

Don’t support tourism and entertainment industries that exploit animals

Animals exploited in these industries are supposed to live in the wild, and they are often chained and denied a life in their natural environment. These industries are often driven by money and making a profit, and many are made popular through tourists posting their animal encounters on social media. 

Adopt from an animal shelter

Rather than buying pets from a pet shop or breeder, choose to adopt from an animal shelter. You will be giving the animal a second chance, as sometimes these animals may have faced abuse or neglect. With adoption via shelters, often the animals come already spayed.  

DIY things for other animals

If you’re feeling a bit crafty, you can knit a sweater for a pet or make toys for the animals at the SPCA. Knitted mice make a great activity for cats to play with.

Support an animal rights charity

Donating to a local animal rescue, animal welfare charity or animal rights organisation can help to buy food, supplies and pay vet bills. It can also give larger organisations the ability to make change. 

Don’t litter

You may have heard of sea turtles ingesting plastic bags as they mistake it for food. Trash can be harmful, and other animals such as birds can trap their necks in plastic rings and marine species can get stuck in nets. 

Become a foster parent to a pet

Foster care can give the cat or dog a safe and quiet space to be loved and cared for. If you’re not able to commit or are unable to have your own pet permanently, fostering can give an ideal situation for animal lovers to care for a pet before they are rehomed to their forever home.

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