Home / Publications / Commemorating a Century of “Be Kind to Animals Week®” 1915 – 2020

Commemorating a Century of “Be Kind to Animals Week®” 1915 – 2020

On the first week of May every year, millions of Americans come together to voice their concern for and improve the wellness, welfare, and well-being of the nation’s animals by celebrating American Humane’s “Be Kind to Animals Week®,” the oldest commemorative week in American history. Generations of schoolchildren have learned the value of treating all creatures of the earth with care, making it the most popular and successful humane education effort ever.

Founded in 1877, American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals.

This year, as we mark the 105th anniversary of this special week, kindness is more important than ever. In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, we cannot forget the most vulnerable among us – our animals, who spread only love, not the virus. We call on everyone to foster or adopt a “pandemic pet” from a shelter, support those shelters that are struggling, and take our online pledge to build a more compassionate world. With all that in mind, we thought it would be useful to reflect on the past 100+ years of “Be Kind to Animals Week,” and show how we have gotten to where we are today.

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