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Be Kind To Animals

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Be Kind to Animals

More than 3.7 million cats and dogs and other shelter animals are euthanized each year for lack of loving homes to adopt them.

Be Kind to Animals Week (May 2-8 this year) was established by American Humane 95 years ago to celebrate the importance of animals in our lives, to promote their humane treatment, and to remind others that animals deserve compassion and kindness.

Read any of the following books and you will experience the personalities and intelligence of a variety of animals and appreciate them as thinking, feeling, and loving beings.

Rita Mae Brown
“Animal Magnetism: my life with creatures great and small” shares the lessons the famous novelist has learned from a parrot, a courageous Doberman, a horse, a tough tiger cat, and other creatures as well as her deep appreciation for them. 

Sy Montgomery
“The Good Good Pig: the extraordinary life of Christopher Hogwood”
A naturalist who spent months at a time living on her own among wild creatures in remote jungles,  Montgomery was more comfortable with animals than with people. So she gladly took in a sick piglet, with no inkling that this piglet would not only survive but flourish--and she soon found herself engaged with her small-town community in ways she had never dreamed possible. Unexpectedly, Christopher provided this traveler with something she had sought all her life: an anchor to family and home. This book celebrates Christopher Hogwood in all his glory, with his boundless zest for life and his large, loving heart, a great big Buddha master. Sy reveals what she and others learned from this generous soul who just so happened to be a pig--lessons about self-acceptance, the meaning of family, the value of community, and the pleasures of the sweet green Earth.

Philip Gonzalez
“The Dog Who Rescues Cats: the true story of Ginny” tells about Gonzalez’ reluctant adoption of a shelter dog to take his mind off his devastating work injury.  He and Ginny walk the streets of New York in the early morning hours, and she noses out abandoned, sick, injured homeless cats from the most unbelievably inaccessible places, rescuing them and giving Gonzalez a new purpose in life.

Jana Kohl
“A Rare Breed of Love: the true story of Baby and the mission she inspired to help dogs everywhere” shares the story of a three-legged poodle whose rescue from a puppy mill sparked the author's cross-country rallies to raise awareness and call for reforms to animal protection laws.

Pamela S. Turner
“Hachiko: the true story of a loyal dog” relates the tale of a dog who accompanied his master to and from a Tokyo train station for a year and, after his master died, continued to wait for him there every day for many years.

Gwen Cooper
“Homer’s Odyssey: a fearless feline tale, or how I learned about life and love with a blind wonder cat” is about the relationship between a pet rescue volunteer and literacy outreach coordinator and a three-pound blind cat whose daredevil character and affectionate personality saw the author through six moves, a burglary, and the healing of her broken heart.

Esther Woolfson
For a whole new appreciation of bird personalities, dip into “Corvus: a life with birds”, Woolfson’s beguiling ruminations on members of the crow family.

Joanna Burger
“The Parrot Who Owns Me” is a fascinating account of Burger’s professional life with birds as a research biologist and her adoption of a parrot after his original owner died.  The part about the bird’s courtship of Joanna, and his jealousy of her husband, is laugh-out-loud funny.

Irene Pepperberg
“Alex & Me: how a scientist and a parrot discovered a hidden world of animal intelligence--and formed a deep bond in the process” is the story of Alex, a famous African Grey parrot, and his thirty-year relationship with his trainer, and the ways in which his life has changed scientific understanding about language and thought.

Isabella Hatkoff
“Owen and Mzee: the language of friendship” tells a captivating story of the unusual friendship between Owen, a young hippo orphaned in the Asian tsunami of 2004, and Mzee, a 130-year old Aldabra tortoise.

Benjamin Mee
In “We Bought a Zoo: the amazing true story of a young family, a broken down zoo, and the 200 wild animals that changed their lives forever”, a former British newspaper columnist describes how he uprooted his family to the English countryside and purchased a dilapidated zoo, home to more than two hundred exotic animals, which he planned to refurbish and reopen as a family business, a scheme complicated by a lack of money, skeptical staff, family tension, and his wife's devastating illness.

Ralph Helfer
Born on the same day in the same German town, Bram and his elephant, Modoc, grew up side by side. Their circus act brought them wide fame, but their incredible bond would also lead to a series of adventures with danger at every turn.  “Modoc: the true story of the greatest elephant that ever lived” is available in both adult and children’s versions.

Another interesting zoo tale is “Zarafa: a giraffe’s true story, from deep in Africa to the heart of Paris” by Michael Allin.  And Gerald Durrell wrote a number of books about his family’s hilarious experiences with zoo animals on Guernsey in the Channel Islands.

Anything by Jane Goodall, Temple Grandin or Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson is engaging and often amazing.
Be kind to animals, not only this week, but always, and you will enrich your own life as well as theirs.

For more animal biographies, visit us at or call 988-2541.

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Online collection of animated, talking picture books to encourage reading in children.


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