Help save the animals in April
When: April 1 – 30
What: The United States is a pet-friendly country, with 62 percent of households owning at least one pet. In return for the unconditional love they provide, domestic animals rely on humans for shelter, food, medical care and love. But it’s a heartbreaking reality that every eight seconds an unwanted dog or cat is euthanized in this country, while countless others are abused, abandoned or worse. In April, become more conscious of our lost and brutalized animals during Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month.
Background: Sponsored by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month urges the public to support animal shelters and the ASPCA’s mission to end animal brutality with its “Go Orange for Animals” campaign. Responsible pet ownership practices and the importance of spaying pets are also championed during this monthlong event.
Story Pitch: Animal-related companies or organizations can earn coverage by hosting pet adoption events or providing the public with information on how to help the cause. Community groups and schools can also give lectures on responsible pet ownership, while any organization can raise money for a local animal shelter.
Story Hook: Humans have been living harmoniously with domesticated animals since at least 10,000 BC. From Egyptian hieroglyphics to cave paintings, the earliest art from disparate civilizations has memorialized the special relationship between humans and animals. And yet, animal cruelty is very real. How do we continue this history of kinship with animals by working to stop abuse and abandonment? Consider the following questions before making your pitch:
- Our country’s current economic woes have been blamed for the rise in abandoned pets. Where can pet owners turn if they are having trouble covering the cost of pet food or routine veterinary care?
- Dog fighting plagued the nation long before its recent appearance in the media. To combat this, the ASPCA offers a $5,000 reward for turning in someone who participates in dog fights. How can communities work to end this type of abuse?
- How can caring for a pet benefit its owner?
- How do the Internet and social media help connect sheltered animals with adoptive families?
Tips: When making your pitch, provide the news organization with a contact from a local animal shelter. In addition, a health practitioner or psychologist may be able to speak on the health benefits of pet ownership.
Humane Society of the United States
Petfinder’s Animal Shelter Search
National Animal Control Association
–Researched, compiled & written by Marissa Maybee
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