American Humane Seeks Kindest Kids for National Contest During Be Kind to Animals Week

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The American Humane Association’s Be Kind to Animals Week® has been celebrated since 1915, and the highlight of this annual observance is the Be Kind to Animals™ Kid Contest, which recognizes children and teens who show extraordinary kindness to animals and go out of their way to help them.

Nominations for two age groups, 6-12 years old and 13-17 years old, will be accepted through April 15, 2010. In each age group, the grand prize winner will receive $1,000 and the runner-up will receive $500. Winners will be announced during Be Kind to Animals Week, May 2-8, 2010. Contest rules and nomination forms are available atwww.americanhumane.org/bkaw. 
Last year, Annie Lee Vankleeck, of Shokan, N.Y, was the grand prize winner in the category for 6- to 12-year-olds. She showed kindness to animals by collecting used blankets and towels for shelter dogs, including going to yard sales and persuading people to donate their blankets — or buying them from the people — as well as collecting blankets and towels at school.  Annie’s actions, and the actions of every young humanitarian, clearly demonstrate compassion, the power of the human-animal bond, and the importance of animals in people’s lives.

Want to make a difference? 
Here are ideas for celebrating the human-animal bond – both during Be Kind to Animals Week and throughout the entire year:

  1. Speak out for animals. Get active in local animal welfare policies and legislation. Also register on American Humane’s website at www.americanhumane.org to receive timely Action Alerts about issues affecting animals. You’ll be able to make a difference for animals with just the click of your mouse.
  2. Share kindness. Teach the people in your life – especially children – about the importance of being kind to animals.
  3. Identify your pets. Make sure your pets have current tags and are microchipped so they can be returned home quickly if they become lost.
  4. Make a donation to your local animal shelter. A donation can be any number of contributions, from your time or money, to needed items such as pet food or laundry detergent.
  5. Appreciate wildlife. Leave room in your yard for natural habitats, like a pond for fish or a birdhouse.
  6. Report animal abuse. While acts of violence against animals are tragic in their own right, they are also a red flag for other violent behavior, including domestic abuse and violent crime.
  7. Educate yourself about The Link® between violence to animals and violence to people to help stop the cycle of violence. When animals in a home are abused or neglected, it is a warning sign that others in the household may not be safe, and children who witness animal abuse are at a greater risk of becoming abusers themselves.
  8. Adopt a pet from a shelter or breed-rescue group. Local shelters and rescue groups are the best place to find companion animals – no matter what type you’re looking for. Keep in mind that one out of every four dogs in shelters is a purebred.
  9. Help end the tragedy of euthanasia of adoptable animals by not contributing to the pet overpopulation problem. If you have pets, make sure to have them spayed or neutered.

Find us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/americanhumane and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/americanhumane. The information contained in this release may be reused and posted with proper credit given to the American Humane Association.

About American Humane Association

Since 1877, the historic American Humane Association has been at the forefront of every major advancement in protecting children, pets and farm animals from cruelty and abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding human-animal interaction and its role in society. As the nation’s voice for the protection of children and animals, American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.

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