Kids Can... Help the Animals!
Animals need your help!
Whether you're talking about wild animals whose
habitats are endangered, farm animals suffering overcrowding on a
factory-style farm, wild horses in need of rescue, the homeless pets at your local animal shelter,
or the animals in your own home or yard... animals
really need your help.
There are many different
things you can do to help animals, from volunteering your time to
changing the way you live. But one of the greatest things you can
do each day is to learn more about them and what they need.
Unlike you, animals cannot write their elected representative, or start
a petition, or publicize their problems on Facebook. They need you
- your voice, your time, your creative insight into what could help and
how it could get done. So the more you learn about animals
and the issues that affect animals, the more you can help them.
Below you will find
some of our ideas for issues to learn about and ways to help:
Help out at your local animal shelter
Your local animal shelter is
desperately in need of donations -- pet supplies, money, and
volunteer help. Call or stop by your local animal shelter, or
check their web page, and let them know you would like to help out.
If you are under 16, your shelter may
not be able to have you work on site with the animals (liability
issues). But you may be able to help out in other ways, such
as fostering kittens or puppies who are too young to thrive in the
shelter environment. Just be aware, they will be going on to
new homes at some point. Still, this is not as hard as it may
sound. As long as you remember that your job is that of animal
socializer -- like a trainer who is helping them get ready to be
totally adoptable. And once they find their "forever home",
you'll be ready to bring a new friend home!
Learn how the HSUS is connected to your local Humane Society!
Do a Creek Clean-Up
Fish, frogs, and many other
wild creatures depend on clean, fresh water in our rivers and creeks.
But trash left along river banks finds its way into the water due to
wind or winter storms. Heavy rainfall associated with storms may
cause stream levels to swell and rise and pick up everything in their
path, including trash.
Even more trash finds its way
to the creeks and rivers when liter tossed onto streets and sidewalks
gets washed in from storm drains. And then there's illegal
dumping; some people still think it's okay to chuck their old sofa and
other unwanted garbage into or beside local waterways. All this
yuck creates hazards for local wildlife dependent on streams for
drinking, spawning, feeding, and migration. What's more, much of
this junk will makes its way into our estuaries and oceans, perhaps all
the way out to the Pacific Garbage Patch. Ocean animals too are at risk
of ingesting or becoming tangled in water borne litter, especially
plastic and metal items which do not break down quickly.
But you can help!
Contact your local water department, parks service, or fish and wildlife
office to find out about upcoming opportunities for creek clean-up.
If they don't have one, discuss organizing your own. This could be
a great project for your local Earth's Kids KIDS
CLUB Chapter .
Create A Wildlife Habitat
Many wild animal species are
dwindling in numbers as their wild homes get cut down and paved over to
make way for roads, businesses, and homes for people. Wildlife
preserves are one remedy to this situation, but they are simply not
enough! Many migrating birds and insects, and even some mammals,
have been losing many of the stopover places they used along their
migration route to find food, water, and shelter. But you can help
by turning your backyard or schoolyard into a wildlife habitat!
Check this link to
learn just want to do. The best part is, you'll not only be
helping wildlife but giving yourself the chance to observe the beautiful
creatures who come to your yard.
Donate to a group that is working to
preserve an endangered species
Browse our selection of links below to find a
group that you would like to help.
Adopt an animal -- either in real life, or
by donating money on its behalf
Shelters all over our country are
filled, overfilled, with pets who need homes. If you have
been thinking about getting a pet, think shelter adoption first.
That way you'll be helping an animal in need, and finding a
wonderful animal companion at the same time.
However, first take the time to
learn how to be a responsible pet owner. And
remember, adopting a pet is a huge commitment, one that
will last for the animal's entire life. Don't adopt
on a whim. Make sure you are willing and able to provide a
loving home for the animal for it's entire life!
Tips and Information from the Humane Society
Earth's Kids Pet Page
-- for pet care links and articles
Volunteer at a local wildlife preserve
Wherever you live, there's some kind
of local wildlife that needs your protection. Wildlife
preserves come in all sizes. It may be a section of your local
beach, where shorebirds lay their eggs, or a vacant field where
Monarch butterflies weave their chrysalis. Or it might be a
local river, salt marsh, or even an old farm. Talk to
your teacher, or to the local and regional parks departments, to
find out about nearby nature preserves and then stop by to check it
out. If you really love it and want to help keep safe
and help others appreciate it... then this might be a great place
for you to volunteer your time. You could help out with
folding newsletters, taking care of the grounds, making decorations
for special events, or helping out with classes and workshops for
younger kids. Just let them know you think it's a
special place and you'd really like to help out. Even if they
don't have a regular task for you, they'll put you on their contact
list, to notify you when they need help.
Teach others about animal issues
Take time to learn more about an
animal issue that is important to you. Make sure you know the
facts -- about the problem and about ways to help. Then
tell your friends and family. Talk to your teacher about ways
to make other students more aware.
Remember, if you're doing something
to be part of the solution (like volunteering at the animal shelter,
a wildlife refuge, or an animal rehab facility, etc.) you'll be a more
impressive spokesperson for your cause. Because people will
respect your example, and your commitment.
For more ideas about using the power of
information technology to spread the word about animal issues and
other causes click here!
Buy eggs, dairy, or meat from
farms that practice "free range" techniques.
More and more animals are raised on
"factory" style farms, where the animals'
needs are not adequately considered. Most are overcrowded,
many never see the sunlight, and far too many are treated with
horrifying cruelty. But we don't have to put up with this!
There are groups working hard to change our laws, to make more
people aware, and to put pressure on food service companies to stop
from factory style farms.
you and the Humane Society can do to end cruel practices
Buy Organic Foods
You may already know that
organic foods are those that are grown or raised without the use of
potentially harmful chemical products like artificial fertilizers or
antibiotics and that many believe these are the tastiest and healthiest
foods to eat. But did you also know that sustainable
organic farming is best for animals too?
Animals raised on healthy
organic feed and allowed to roam in the fresh air in safe, sanitary
conditions don't need daily doses of antibiotics. So organic ranchers are more
invested in the humane treatment of livestock. And organic farmers
who use natural methods to grow their crops and nourish their soil are
helping humans and wildlife alike by abstaining from the use of
harsh pesticides or artificial
fertilizers that often ends leaves toxic residues in our water supply. What's more
the recent mass die offs of important pollinators like bees and butterflies has been
tied to pesticide use. Fertilizer run off is just one of many
nonpoint source pollutants that have been tied to frog and fish
Every time you buy organic
food you are helping both farm animals and wildlife. You are also
helping sustainable food producers stay in business. And because
all growers depend on the money that comes from you the consumer, you
are sending a
powerful message to those use outdated, toxic, and
inhumane methods of food production that you want them to change. Learn more:
Food and Agriculture: Toward Healthy Food and Farms
Say "NO" to GMO
There's a great deal of
debate these days about the value and risk of genetically modified food
Some scientists claim that tinkering with the DNA of plants and animals
is a smart way to create just what we want in terms of plant/animal
health and even taste. But other scientists point out that
even with all we've learned about DNA we still know very little about
the long range effects of such tinkering -- both on the environment, on
the species being modified, and on the human bodies consuming GMO foods.
Plus many folks fear that GMO
foods will be handled in much the same way as chemical food additives
have been. That is, government officials have often been too quick
to give the "okay" to adding some new artificial concoction to our food
or medicine...only to find out later that it causes cancer, birth
defects, or some other hazard. In a similar way, many chemicals
and other substances, that were once thought "safe" to use in farming
and industry have since been discovered to poison the air, soil, or
water...as well as humans and wildlife. The resultant
suffering and loss of life would suggest that it would have been better
if more time was taken to study the safety of these substances before
giving approval for their use.
But what is different about
the GMO threat is that once the genetically engineered plants and
animals (including fish) have escaped into the wild and crossbred with
wild stock...there may be no stopping the spread of the modified genes.
Ever. And what if we discover a problem 10 or 20 years from now
with those modified genes? How will we undo the damage? It's
literally like trying to stuff a genie back into a bottle. Besides
the threat to human beings, the use of genetically modified plants and
animals threatens wild animal species whose food supply and breeding populations may become
contaminated. GMO researchers and manufactures claim they have
engineered-in ways to stop their plants and animals from reproducing in
the wild, but there is already data suggesting that this has failed with
some plant crops and could likely fail with at least some animal crops,
genetically engineered salmon. Should we expect something different with
genetically modified animals?
And lastly, there are ethical
considerations to the
research being done on animals, including experiments that cause the
body parts of one species to grow on, or in, another - including human
body parts. In short, just because we can do something, does that
mean we should do it?
To learn more, read:
Tiki's Guide to Genetic
Engineering (kid friendly)
Impacts of Genetic Engineering
Organic Consumers Association
The First GMO Animal Built for Human Consumption
Grow Your Own Food
If you're like most people,
you probably don't' have the room to grow all the food you need.
Some experts estimate an acre of land per person in required, depending
on your diet (includes meat production). Nonetheless, you can
still grow quite a bit of food in a small amount of space! Beans,
squash, tomatoes, carrots, and salad greens can all easily be grown in
the home garden - even if all you have to plant in is large containers.
But how does growing
your own food help animals? Easy! Growing your own food
means you get to control how it is grown -- organic,
without pesticides, artificial fertilizers, and without water wasting -
all good for the environment and wildlife. Plus, many plants you
grow in the home garden provide bees and other pollinators
with food. Next consider this: what if more people grew food
instead of lawns? For one thing it would mean less wild open
spaces would need to be plowed under and re-developed to feed people.
It would also means less fossil fuels would be required for food
transportation, saving animal habitats from the
destruction associated with drilling, mining, and fracking. (As a
side benefit it might also mean a more secure food supply for your local
community as the price of fuel, and thus transported food, increases.)
And finally, spending time in your own garden may increase your
awareness and appreciation of nature...making you more
willing to take other actions that benefit wildlife.
How To Garden
Protect Honey Bees and Other
If you've spent much time in
a healthy organic garden you've probably noticed bees buzzing from
flower to flower. The bees are busy collecting nectar from
each flower to take back and share with the hive. But in the
process they are also moving pollen from one plant to another.
This process, called pollination, is vital to many of the fruits,
vegetables, and flowers that we love and that farmers depend on
for their income.
including honey bees, wild bees, and butterflies, are very important and
very helpful. But there are a lot of bugs that humans don't like.
So many people, including farmers, spray pesticides to kill off the bugs
that they consider "pests". But pesticides are
basically poisons. And many if not most of these poisons can build
up over time in our bodies and in the environment. They can have
powerful effects that are often hidden and hard to detect until many
years have passed.
One such hidden effect that
has recently become more obvious, thanks to scientific studies, is the
fact that pesticides have been making honey bees and other pollinators
sick. Scientists say that the cumulative effect of bees
carrying these poisons back to the hive, along with the pollen and
nectar they collect, has lead to a weakening and sickening of many
hives. The affected hives becomes increasingly more
susceptible to disease until suddenly the entire hive dies. The
concern is that this trend will continue or even worsen, possibly wiping
out honey bees entirely. Worse still, honey bees are not the
only pollinators experiencing drastic die offs. Many other
pollinating insects have been experiencing dramatic reductions in their
populations due to pesticide use and other factors.
While all this is bad news
for pollinating insects it turns out its also bad news for humans too.
Farmers depend on bees and other pollinators for the health and
abundance of many of their crops. In fact, pollinators are so
important that some scientists believe we could see world wide food
shortages and famine if we don't do something to stop the die off of
honey bees, butterflies, wild bees, and other pollinators.
Now, it's important to
know that many of the grains we depend on for our breads and
cereals do not need pollination from bees or other creatures. And
it is possible for humans to hand pollinate many crops that
depend on bees, although it is extremely expensive to do so.
However, our supplies of affordable fruits, nuts, oils, and many other
plants would be severely impacted. And as we all know, a
healthy diet depends on eating a variety of
foods from all the food groups. In short, helping bees and other
pollinators will help us as well.
But what, you ask, can we do?
First off, talk to your parents about the pesticides you use at home.
Make it a family project to review your use of these products and
discuss what you can do to eliminate or at least drastically
reduce your use of pesticides.
Learn ways to deal with unwanted bugs without poison. Cut back or
eliminate your use of weedkillers too as pollinators may be sensitive to
the cumulative toxins absorbed from these sources.
planting fruits, flowers, and vegetables that are appealing to
pollinators. Talk to friends and family about this issue
so that as many people as possible can become informed about this issue.
Encourage them to write letters, make phone calls, and sign petitions
asking our legislators to outlaw those toxins that have already been
scientifically proven to be harmful to pollinators.
Learn how to promote kindness to animals
The oceans need our help! Pollution, global
warming, overfishing by humans -- all are taking their toll on the
delicate webs of life in our oceans. Learn more on the EK Marine
Science page, including ways you can take action to support our seas.
Wetlands & Pond Life
Ponds & wetlands play a
valuable role in the health of our communities and our world.
Learn how you can help thrive.
Help injured wildlife
25 Things You Can Do
To Save Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are home to countless
species of fish and other marine life. But they are
threatened by pollution, global warming, overfishing, and and
other threats. Learn what you can do to help save them --
and the gorgeous creatures that live there.
National Wild Horse & Burro Page
Features information on the Bureau of Land Management's program
for adoption of mustangs and burros. Visit their website or
contact them by phone at
If you're feeling
up to the challenge this may be your chance to purchase a
beautiful animal at a fraction of the cost of a domestically
But be warned,
these are wild animals. It takes a lot of time and patience to
gain the trust of a wild mustang and create a bond that may lead
to a good working relationship. Even after this work is done,
you will most likely need to enlist the work of a professional
horse trainer to turn this denizen of the wilderness into a good
saddle horse. But the payoff is knowing that you have saved one
of these beautiful and noble creatures from destruction.
Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native
and plants in their natural communities. We focus our programs on
what scientists consider two of the most serious environmental
threats to the planet: the accelerating rate of extinction of
species and the associated loss of biological diversity, and habitat
alteration and destruction. Long known for our leadership on
endangered species issues, Defenders of Wildlife also advocates new
approaches to wildlife conservation that will help keep species from
The Dian Fossey Gorrilla
Help continue Dian Fossey's legendary work to save the mountain
gorilla. Adopt your own gorilla and be a long
distance gorilla foster parent. You will get a
special profile on your gorilla and a framed photo. Visit
the site to learn more or to learn what else you can do to help
these very special animals. (Be sure to visit the
Foundation web site for even more about gorillas.)
Endangered Whales Fact Sheet
This site by the American Museum of
Natural History presents an online exhibition showing various
endangered animals, the reasons for the problem, an informative fact
sheet on each animal species, as well as some fun pages with legends
and coloring. There's even information on endangered habitats,
such as coral reefs, the Olympic Peninsula, Madagascar, and the
Kapuas River region of Borneo.
Friends of the
Premier sea otter advocacy organization.
Sea otter word
Humane Society of the United States
Check out this site to learn more
about important issues for animals, including: ending the fur
industry, improving conditions for farm animals, research on
animals, puppy "mills", and more. Surf their site to
find information about how you can help change the laws so that they
better protect animals!
The HSUS is the nation's largest
animal protection organization with more than seven million members
and constituents. The HSUS is a mainstream voice for animals, with
active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat
protection, animals in research, and farm animals. The HSUS protects
all animals through legislation, litigation, investigation,
education, advocacy and field work. A non-profit organization, The
HSUS celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2004, is based in
Washington, D.C. and has seven regional offices across the country.
Learn how the HSUS is connected to your local Humane Society!
Humane is a nationwide group of young people working to help
animals where they need it most. You can be part of it, too! Do the
projects they suggest and get fun rewards for taking action! Each year, one KIND Kid Award winner
is selected to receive $100. Four runners-up are awarded $50 each.
The deadline for entering is January 15, and winners are notified on
or around February 15
National Wildlife Federation
way to take action for the environment. This site features
news in the world of wildlife conservation and environmental
issues, and highlights specific actions you can take -- right
now -- to help with wetlands preservation, ending government
funded harm to the environment, and urging government to take
positive action on behalf of wildlife. Be sure to check
out their cool stuff for kids
including their excellent action tips. (Be sure to check out
educate the public and shift public policy since 1977. Check
their site for whale facts and ways to get involved. Learn how
small changes in your daily life can help sea mammals. Adopt a
The Sierra Club
Without a healthy
natural habitat in which to live, wild animals are doomed to
extinction or a life in a zoo. The Sierra Cub, founded
in 1892, has been working to preserve natural habitat and ensure its
health for more than 100 years. There experience and familiar
name has made them into a powerful advocacy organization for the
wild. Visit their home page and find out what
action they are working on right now, and what you can do to help
and become better informed.
Threatened, Endangered, And Depleted Seals And Sea Lions
Human beings have been moving in on land needed by all kinds of
other animals -- including the wild mustang. Some of these
beautiful animals have found a place of their own on wild lands
owned and protected by the Institute of Range and the American
Mustang (IRAM). Learn how you can help IRAM save these animals
from slaughter and starvation through sponsoring a wild horse or
by volunteering your time.
World Wildlife Fund for Nature
Another top level site with news about events going on around
the globe that impact the future of our natural world. It
also features great information on how you can help -- through
campaigns, wise shopping, donations, and educating others.
And if you needed one more reason to visit their site, their url
Learn more about endangered species on their fact sheets.
Caring for Injured Wildlife...
Remember, wild animals like being wild -- don't try to keep an injured animal
as a pet unless you know for certain that it could not be safely
released back into the wild.
Also, keep in mind that some
injured animals can be
dangerous! To an
injured animal, you seem like a threat. They may bite, claw, or
otherwise signal you to keep your distance if you try to pick them up.
Many types of wild animals, including birds,
simply die when people try to adopt them. (Or turn out to be much
more trouble than anticipated!)
If you find a wild animal that is injured or
seems lost, call your local Humane Society for information, or check
out these sources for more information:
What to Do If You Find a Baby Bird
to Do If You Find a Wild Baby Bunny
Rehabilitation Information Directory
Check out this website for information on who to call in your area,
to find a wildlife sanctuary near you.
E.K. KIDS CLUB
on this page
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP ANIMALS
Check out these
great pages for Earth's Kids!
Change the World!
In Your Community
Ending World Hunger
Use the Power of Information
Taking a Stand Against
Taking A Spiritual
Approach To Life
Nurturing A Positive
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