New Year’s resolutions you’ll want to keep
By Ingrid Newkirk
For most of us, New Year’s resolutions made with the best of intentions will be tossed out faster than the holiday fruitcake.
That’s why, this year, I hope you will resolve to improve the lives of our animal companions - both those that share our homes and countless others who are at risk of abuse and neglect. There are so many ways that you can make a difference for animals.
In these challenging economic times, many people are no longer able to provide food, veterinary care, and other basic necessities for their animal companions. Even worse, more animals are being abandoned.
I hope you will consider the following resolutions for the special animals in your life:
• If you have a dog, pledge to walk him every day, even when it’s cold outside and you’d rather hide under a blanket. Few things are more important to your canine companion’s health and happiness than the opportunity to stretch his legs each day.
• Set aside some “kitty quality time” every day to play with, brush and bond with your cat. It’s sometimes easy to overlook feline friends, but they can get bored and lonely, too.
• If you haven’t already, have your cats and dogs spayed or neutered. These simple procedures help protect your furry friends from many types of cancer and prevent thousands of animals from ending up abandoned on the streets or dumped at animal shelters.
• If there is a lonely “backyard dog” in your neighborhood, try befriending its guardian. Start by politely talking to him about the dog’s needs, such as companionship, fresh food and water every day and a warm and dry doghouse filled with straw. Many lucky dogs have had their lives changed because someone cared enough to intervene.