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Honoring National Animal Advocacy Day
April 15, 2024

Mark your calendars for an upcoming event: National Animal Advocacy Day is the 30th. This cause holds a special place in our hearts. Our furry friends are just as emotional and loving as humans, and they truly bring joy and fulfillment to our lives. Nevertheless, their destinies are not within their control; it is our responsibility to shape their futures. In this article, a Roanoke, VA veterinarian delves into animal advocacy.

What Are The Biggest Reasons For Animal Welfare Issues?

There are multiple factors that contribute to the various issues that can affect animals and their overall health, happiness, safety, and well-being, such as animals being used for medical experiments, inadequate veterinary care for domestic animals, the illegal trade of exotic animals, and the problematic practices of factory farming, among others. Another significant issue revolves around the use of animals for entertainment purposes. Disasters, war, and poverty can also have an impact. These tragedies have a profound impact on both individuals and the animal kingdom.

Climate change and habitat loss are also contributing factors. 

The numbers on this are quite alarming.

  • Nearly 98 percent of old-growth forests have been lost.
  • Only 3 percent of America’s prairies and grasslands remain in their natural state.
  • More than half of America’s wetlands have been destroyed. In Europe, the percentage is even higher, with estimates ranging between 60 and 70 percent.
  • Over half of the wetlands in the United States have been lost in the past two centuries. Overseas, the situation is even more dire: a staggering 60% to 70% of European wetlands have been lost.
  • Approximately 94 percent of temperate forests have been impacted by farming and logging activities.

How To Advocate For Animals

Making a difference through advocacy doesn’t require a significant investment of time or money. Every voice holds significance in this realm, and even small actions can pave the way for significant progress. By getting involved with local conservation groups, planting native flora, and reducing your use of toxic chemicals, you can make a significant impact. Even small things like not mowing your lawn can help. Join the no-mow May movement and let the birds and bees enjoy their meal of dandelions before you trim them away. 

Another great starting point would be your own pets. It’s really easy to get started by doing some research on your furry friend to learn more about their needs, body language, and what makes them happy. It’s all about understanding and taking care of them. Your Roanoke, VA veterinarian is also an excellent resource for this!

Buying responsibly is also crucial. Are you in search of a new furry friend? Adopt, Don’t Shop is a fantastic guideline to keep in mind. If you decide to go through a store or breeder, it’s important to select one that has a good reputation.

Getting your pet fixed can have a significant impact, especially with animals like dogs and cats. Allowing Fluffy or Fido to have a litter or two may seem adorable and enjoyable, but it only contributes to the problem of animal overpopulation. 

It is crucial to ensure that your pet is microchipped, spayed or neutered, and equipped with appropriate identification tags. Here’s a straightforward way to ensure your pet has a safety net in case they ever go missing.

You can also contribute to the cause by showing your support for animal rescues and advocating for laws and regulations that prioritize animal welfare.

Kid-Friendly Ideas For Animal Advocacy

Do you have any young children? Now is the perfect opportunity to discuss with them the significance of advocating for proper animal welfare. 

Here are some ways you can get the little ones on board:

  • Hosting a yard sale or bake sale and donating the proceeds to a nearby animal welfare organization. It’s a great way to support a good cause while also getting rid of unwanted items or showcasing your baking skills. Plus, you’ll be making a positive impact in your community!
  • Organizing a pet supply drive to support a nearby shelter.
  • Virtually adopting or sponsoring a wild or rescued animal. It is possible to do this online. You can stay informed about your new buddy’s status and whereabouts.
  • Participating in local children’s programs, like 4H.
  • Visit a bookstore, thrift store, or even the library to find some excellent books about animals. Many children find themselves captivated by and deeply compassionate towards our furry companions. 
  • Another option is to watch an animal-related movie, show, or documentary that is suitable for children and have a discussion about it after.
  • Reach out to nearby shelters or rescues and inquire about any homemade items they may need. There is a wide variety of adorable toys, beds, and furniture pieces that can be excellent options for DIY projects. These projects are perfect for keeping kids entertained on rainy days! Search online for detailed ideas and instructions. There are numerous excellent options available for you to choose from! 
  • Setting up bird feeders and planting native flora to create an inviting environment for pollinators and other local wildlife. The old popsicle-stick bird feeder project will never go out of style! 
  • If you have a family pet, let your youngster help with their care. Also, just talk to them about Fido and Fluffy, and why it’s so important to be kind to them.

You can also ask your local Roanoke, VA veterinarian for recommendations on nearby rescues and shelters. 

What Does The Animal Welfare Act Cover?

Established in 1966, the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) is the sole federal law in the United States that governs the treatment of animals in research, transportation, exhibition, and by dealers. It has undergone multiple amendments, yet there are still a number of loopholes.  

Looking to stay informed about animal advocacy legislation? You may also find the ASPCA to be a valuable resource. The Animal Welfare Institute is an excellent resource for this. You can find the site at this location. It encompasses a diverse range of subjects, spanning from horse-drawn carts to shark finning. 

Good News About Animal Advocacy

This topic can be quite serious, but let’s make sure we end on a positive note. 2024 is off to a great start here. There are several new laws on the books that are moving in the right direction.

Here are a few examples:

  • California has recently implemented new mandates that call for the use of non-animal-based tests for certain products, including pesticides, food additives, and chemicals.
  • Michigan has recently joined the ranks of states that have passed legislation to ensure that dogs and cats used in research are given the opportunity to find loving homes after their trials are over. This compassionate move reflects a growing recognition of the importance of animal welfare in scientific endeavors.
  • Pet stores in New York have made the compassionate decision to stop selling dogs, cats, and rabbits, effectively reducing the demand for animals from puppy mills.
  • Pet stores in Pennsylvania are now obligated to display breeder information and health documents regarding puppies.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Roanoke, VA Veterinarian

Does your furry friend need a check-up? Get in touch with us, your Roanoke, VA animal hospital, today! Our commitment is to provide exceptional service and excellent care.

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