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White Papers

Commemorating a Century of “Be Kind to Animals Week®” 1915 – 2015

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 will mark the 100th anniversary of this special week, and American Humane is commemorating the occasion with a year-long Kindness 100 campaign, during which we will take our humane messages to millions of Americans and enlist them in a new Compassion Movement to address the remaining challenges facing the world’s creatures. A national media tour and educational roadshow will spread a message of compassion, caring and hope to children across America.

With that in mind, we wanted to reflect on the past 99 years of “Be Kind to Animals Week,” and show how we have gotten to where we are today.


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