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Be Kind to Animals Week 2024: When It Is & How to Celebrate

Misty Layne Profile Picture

By Misty Layne

woman sitting down with two dogs and a cat

There are all sorts of fun holidays to be celebrated each year (and we don’t just mean the big ones, such as Christmas). Every day of the year and most weeks will find a new thing to celebrate or commemorate, whether it’s pizza, specific flowers, video games, or our beloved animals. One excellent holiday you’ll want to take part in as a pet parent is Be Kind to Animals Week! (Yes, you should always be kind to animals, but it’s nice to have a week dedicated to committing to being kind to our animal friends.)

But when is this event? Be Kind to Animals Week is celebrated the first full week of May each year. How do you participate in this week?

Below you’ll find everything you need to know about Be Kind to Animals Week, so you can join in when it rolls around!


What Is Be Kind to Animals Week?

Be Kind to Animals Week was started by American Humane in 1915 and is the longest-running campaign for humane education in the U.S. (It’s also the commemorative week that’s the oldest!)1 This week started as a way to challenge people to be kind to animals, improve animals’ lives, and commit to protecting those lives. Animal lovers everywhere have called the campaign a compassion movement, and clearly, it’s pretty popular as it’s still going strong!

There are many ways to participate in Be Kind to Animals Week, whether on your own or in your community. Animal shelters, in particular, tend to hold events during this week to raise awareness about animals in their areas.

person holding cat and dog
Image Credit: Nadia Vasil’eva, Pexels

Ways to Participate

The most significant way to participate in Be Kind to Animals Week is to take the American Humane “Kindness Pledge”, which consists of four ways to be kind to animals during this week (and all year). What are those four things?

  • When watching television or movies, choose media that has earned the end credit of “No Animals Were Harmed”, so you know that any animals that participated in the film were kept safe at all times.
  • When adopting a new cat or dog, choose a shelter or rescue organization to adopt from rather than a pet store. If you’re seeking a pet that’s not likely to be at a shelter (reptiles, fish, small mammals, etc.), opt to locate one through an American Humane Certified Pet Provider.
  • When going to view animals somewhere, such as a zoo or aquarium, go with one that is American Humane Certified.
  • Finally, purchase foods that have the American Humane Certified seal on them so you know any farm animals involved in making the food were treated well.

Of course, there are other things you can do to commemorate this week, too! For starters, you can be kinder to the local wildlife by turning your yard into a space friendlier to the wildlife around it. Invite butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds into your yard by planting flowers and shrubbery they will enjoy. And if you have other wildlife around, such as squirrels, deer, or raccoons, American Humane has an excellent list of do’s and don’ts to follow, so you can all live in harmony.

And, of course, don’t forget your own pet during this week! While you’re always kind to them, this week is a wonderful time to make sure your pet is up-to-date on all shots and vet visits. You can also double-check that your pet has proper identification on them, ensuring they’ll be returned to you if they get lost.

Finally, update yourself on ways to spot signs of animal abuse and determine who to report abuse to if you see it.

family adopting dog
Image By: hedgehog94, Shutterstock



Be Kind to Animals Week is the first full week of May each year and is an excellent way to re-up your commitment to caring for the animals around you. Whether you decide to take the American Humane’s “Kindness Pledge”, make sure your own pet is safe and healthy, update yourself on signs of animal abuse so you can potentially save an animal’s life, or create a wildlife-friendly space in your yard, there are many ways to participate in this commemorative week. And don’t forget to spread the word to others about this week, so they can commit to being kind to animals as well!

Featured Image Credit: Chewy, Unsplash

Misty Layne Profile Picture

Authored by

Misty Layne lives out in the woods in small-town Alabama with her two Siamese—Serafina and Jasper. She also has an array of stray cats, raccoons, and possums who like to call her front porch home. When she’s not writing about animals, you’ll find her writing poetry, stories, and film reviews (the animals are, by far, her favorite writing topic, though!). In her free time, Misty enjoys chilling with her cats, playing...Read more

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