This year we are encouraging everyone to #LiveKinder and tread a little lighter – especially when it comes to our relationship with animals. With a few small changes we can all #LiveKinder - let’s be kinder in what we eat, kinder in what we do and kinder in how we treat animals and the planet. Every little action can have a huge impact, and collectively we have the power to protect animals and the planet. Whilst we all are still living with the fallout of COVID-19 we are becoming increasingly aware of the link between the way we treat animals and the planet, and the subsequent emergence of global pandemics. Over 75% of pandemics have come from animals, including wildlife and farmed animals. The message is clear - we need to change the way we live. Are you prepared to #LiveKinder?
These changes do not need to be big to make a significant impact. Even a few small steps in the right direction can, and will, make a big difference.
Click here if you would like to know more about the link between animal welfare and pandemics.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted”
By using items you can find in your home you can make some quick and easy DIY dog toys, like this one, that will keep furry friends entertained for hours. Be inspired and create a bunch of DIY dog and cat toys with your family or friends and donate them to your favourite dog kennel or cattery to keep the fur babies entertained and enriched. You can even nominate 67 friends to do this, or commit to making 67 yourself and donate to your favourite shelter.
Encourage your company director/CEO to give your team some time off to visit and volunteer at a project close to your heart. Not only will this help the organisation of your choice, but it brings a team together for a common goal – perfect for building team spirit.
Have a ‘quilting party’ or ‘blanket making challenge’ with your family & friends and create 67 blankets for a shelter. Everyone loves a warm blanket, especially shelter dogs and cats who are waiting for a home and a family to call their own. Shelters use all types of blankets for their dogs and cats, and some even for their smaller animals who need rehabilitation.
Shelter from the storm
With many township dogs having no or inadequate shelter, organisations are always looking for dog kennels. Get handsy and build a kennel, donate a new or old kennel, or start a collection drive for old dog kennels in your suburb or circle. Challenge your friends and family to collect 67 dog kennels and donate them to your nearest animal welfare assisting in the alleviation of township pets.
Show shelters you care
Make ‘care packs’ for the animal welfare staff at your nearest pet shelter, intake centre, or SPCA. The staff taking care of shelter or other animals are often over worked, over stressed and regularly place the needs of the animals they care for above themselves. Showing how much they are appreciated goes a long way into restoring the energy and drive these animal angels need to continue to help animals every day. Include items such as a Thank You card, a cold drink, a healthy snack, a nice handwash and hand cream (cruelty free of course!), a small voucher for a nearby store, and whatever else you feel they would appreciate. Challenge 67 of your friends, family members or colleagues to do the same. You can also keep it simple and just drop off a Thank You card or a bouquet of flowers at your nearest SPCA, welfare vet or shelter; or spoil the staff by delivering cupcakes, cookies or even pizza - really anything that shows just how much their efforts for the animals are appreciated.
Read to shelter pets
Many shelters have adoption rooms for their cats and kittens, or maybe have kennels with dogs who are difficult to handle due to their size, medical situation or personality. You can always take a book and go and read aloud to them. Shelter cats will love this as they can walk around, sniff and curl up in your lap while you read. Both dogs and cats in shelters will love the sound of a calm voice, and it can help with the inevitable stress shelter animals deal with. This is also a great activity for young children who are struggling or learning to read, and have to practise.
Get your hands dirty
Phone up your local animal welfare organisation and ask them where you could provide a service – building renovations, fixing a broken fence, a new coat of paint, cleaning a stock room, there is bound to be some kind of dirty work that needs to be done. Get a group of friends or colleagues together and tackle the task at hand. Getting dirty for a good cause will feel so good!
Clean up your community
Grab a few friends and some black bags, and clean up your local community by picking up litter and rubbish. It may seem like a small act, but spending time doing something for your community will not only make your community look better and have an impact on the environment but it will also help animals. Plastic is harmful to the environment, especially to wildlife such as birds as well as roaming animals such as dogs, cats, horses, and donkeys. Any time you litter, or don’t pick up litter someone else left behind, you increase the chances of an animal accidentally eating the litter. Animals can get very sick with plastic and other rubbish in their stomachs, and could even die because of this.
Pack a present for paw-some pal
Similar to the initiative where you fill an empty shoebox with essential items for a needy child, you can also choose to do the same for a needy animal. Get a few friends or colleagues together and make up 67 boxes filled with essential items for dogs and cats and drop these off at your local shelter. You could include the following: some pet food and a pet treat, something warm like a blanket or dog jersey, something useful like a collar or bowl, and then something fun like a ball, a squeaky toy or even a small stuffed animal.
Use your wedding bells for good
No-gifts wedding registries are all the rage as more and more couples choose to rather ask for donations towards their favorite charities. Are you getting married or know of a animal-loving friend, family member or colleague who is? Change it up and let your wedding registry revolve around animal charities. You can set up a registry page with monetary donations going straight to the rescue or shelter of your choice, or make it exciting and ask guests to bring pet food, pet toys, or other large in-kind donations which you can then drop off later.
Han(g) out some free food
You can help bird populations by hanging DIY bird feeders in your backyard, on your stoep or in your local park. Birds also rely on clean, fresh water so water fountains and bird baths are also a good idea. Encourage your friends and family to make 67 bird feeders and put them up in areas frequented by birds to help populations who might be suffering due to building developments, habitat destruction, drought, and heat.