We're celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Day by sharing some of our favourite ways you can be kind to animals. Acts of kindness, whether they're big or small, have a huge impact on the animals that we are lucky enough to share our planet with. Here are some of our top ways that you can spread a little kindness to our animal friends...
VOLUNTEER WITH ANIMALS
There are so many ways that you can volunteer for animals. From being a dog walker to a home visitor, charity shop assistant or volunteer driver - there are so many ways in which you can help animals in need. Not all jobs will be glamorous, so be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in! The RSPCA is a good place to start, or better yet ask around your local animal shelters and sanctuaries. Our partner sanctuary, The Retreat, could always use an extra pair of hands! Whether you're washing dishes in their cafe kitchen or cleaning out animal pens, every small action makes a big difference.
CHOOSE CRUELTY FREE
A huge act of kindness you can do for animals is to stop buying products that are tested on animals. There's a huge selection of cruelty free cosmetics, toiletries and cleaning products on the market nowadays and the selection is ever-growing. If you're really serious about going cruelty free, you can also avoid clothing made from animal products such as leather, silk and wool. Avoiding zoos and animals attractions with poor welfare standards is also a good idea - instead you can support sanctuaries and animal rescue centres who have animal welfare at the forefront of their minds. Avoiding eating animal products such as meat, fish, dairy and eggs has a huge, positive impact of the lives of animals too - why not try cutting out meat for 1 day a week?
MAKE YOUR GARDEN WILDLIFE FRIENDLY
There are lots of fun, small ways in which you can make your garden more wildlife friendly, from feeding birds to building a hedgehog house, to making a bug hotel! By avoiding using harsh chemicals and leaving some natural, untouched spaces in your garden you can create a haven for local wildlife. You could also grow some bee-friendly plants and flowers to help our fuzzy flying friends!
Picking up litter when you see it not only helps save animals like fish and birds from getting tangled and suffering as a result and it also helps keep our planet tidy! Animals such as dogs and cats may also eat litter that has been left on the ground which can be fatal for them. Whether you pick up a little litter on your lunch break or go a step further and sign up to organised litter picks in your area, you have the power to make a real difference. If you're local, consider joining a Rise Up Clean Up beach clean.
FOSTER OR ADOPT AN ANIMAL
Depending on your situation, fostering or adopting a pet is a fantastic way to help animals who are in need of some kindness. If you are considering adding a pet to your family, please look for a rescue animal instead of buying from a breeder. Don't forget - it's more than just cats and dogs in shelters - from farm animals, to reptiles, to horses to hamsters, just about any animal you could imagine is out there looking for a home. If adopting a rescue animal isn't an option right now or not something that you can commit to, have you considered fostering an animal instead? For more information on fostering a pet you can see our previous blog post here.
SPONSOR AN ANIMAL
Many shelters and rescue centres have animal sponsorship programmes that help to fund the care of the animal. Sponsorships provide charities with a regular income that they can use to help save and protect more animals. The costs of looking after all these animals build up very quickly, in fact it costs around £670,000 to run one RSPCA centre for a year!