WASHINGTON, May 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During this year's "Be Kind to Animals Week®" (May 6-12), the organization that helped found America's original "Compassion Movement" in the 1870s is putting out an urgent plea and opening its membership for the first time to the general public, imploring them to protect more of the nation's 10 billion+ farm animals, 3-4 million shelter animals who are euthanized yearly, and thousands of animals who are being hurt in natural disasters and cruelty cases.
"The need has never been greater," says Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association. "We have made gigantic strides in the past century, pioneering many of the key advances in protecting our nation's children and animals, but there are still huge numbers in critical need of lifesaving care. We are putting out a call to the American public during Be Kind to Animals Week to get involved and become part of a new 21st century Compassion Movement that will help millions more of our most vulnerable to be kept safe, protected, and loved. So many animals are still suffering and can't wait any longer."
Some major names are heeding that call, including celebrities such as beloved actress and animal lover Betty White, who has a long history with American Humane Association and has agreed to be the chair of this year's "Be Kind to Animals Week," which the charity launched back in 1915. In an email message to half a million supporters, Ms. White is asking fans and animal lovers to help by joining as supporting members now.
"As far as I am concerned, every week should be 'Be Kind to Animals Week,'" said Ms. White. "To make that possible for more animals, please join American Humane Association's new membership program. In fact, as a challenge for my 90th birthday – I would like 9,000 new members to join this very week!"
In addition to the good feeling of helping helpless animals, those who visit www.behumane.org and join at the Compassion Club level of $50 a month will be entered to win two tickets to the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ in Hollywood and a VIP visit with Hero Dog headliner Betty White!
Other major celebrities, charities, and companies are posting, tweeting, and otherwise spreading the word, encouraging Americans to get off the sidelines and actively become a voice for the voiceless, joining an effort that pioneered virtually every major advance in child and animal welfare. Did you know AHA:
- Worked to champion protections for farm animals back in 1877?
- Worked to save thousands of wounded horses on the battlefields during World War I?
- Helped save the bald eagle?
- Founded its famed Film and TV Unit in 1940 to make sure "No Animals Were Harmed®" for the sake of entertainment?
- Was a leader in tackling pet overpopulation, spay and neuter, and "puppy mills"?
- Created Adopt-a-Dog Month® and Adopt-A-Cat Month® to encourage adoption from overcrowded animal shelters and save millions of innocent lives?
- Has rescued more than 64,000 animals following hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and other disasters in just the past five years?
- Ensures the humane treatment of more than 135 million farm animals?
"American Humane Association helped found our nation's Compassion Movement 135 years ago and we made a huge difference," said Dr. Ganzert. "Today, we need every American to join in an ambitious new effort to bring hope, help and comfort to millions in need. What better time to consider joining American Humane Association as a supporting member of the most compassionate club than during Be Kind to Animals Week? Please take just a moment and visit us at www.behumane.org. Thank you!"
About American Humane Association
Since 1877 American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting children, pets and farm animals from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we're also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.
SOURCE American Humane Association