Celebrating Animals: September
September’s animal holidays encompass the wide menagerie of creatures in our homes, on our farms and in the wild. As we approach the season of giving, this month’s observances serve as nice reminders to pause and appreciate all the ways animals contribute to our sense of well-being, as well as offering some opportunities to give back. Click through to learn more about holidays that are sure to inspire an extra spark of animal love this month.
Senior Pet Wellness Month
They say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, so why not just give them some extra TLC instead? Senior Pet Wellness Month reminds us all to pay special attention to our older animals, and a big part of that is making sure they visit the vet regularly. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, only 14 percent of senior pets receive regular health screenings, meaning a lot of treatable conditions that could improve your best friend’s remaining years may be missed. Take some time this September to chat with your vet about the changing diet, exercise and overall health needs of your distinguished animal friend.
Happy Cat Month
Those of us with a cat or two kicking around the house might find the prospect of Happy Cat Month to be a bit dubious. Nobody can tell a cat how to feel, and it’s unlikely even an entire month of cat-centric celebration will change that. Still, the CATalyst Council is willing to try, each year entreating us all to pay special attention to our feline friends during the month of September. Check out their list of tips and suggestions, and cross your fingers for positive results!
National Wildlife Day — Sept. 4
On this day, turn your attention outdoors to all the amazing creatures with whom we share the planet. National Wildlife Day is an opportunity not only to acknowledge the many endangered and at-risk species that need our help, but also to recognize the work of the tireless volunteers who run sanctuaries, establish backyard habitats and donate their time and money to the wide, wild kingdom.
National Farm Animals Awareness Week — Sept. 15-21
A funny fella named Old MacDonald once had a farm, and we’d like to imagine his famous song was penned during this special week! Horses, cows, chickens, pigs, sheep, goats and related farm kin are among the most ubiquitous animals in our culture, so it’s easy to take them for granted. The Humane Society of the United States offers stark reminders of our duty to protect farm animals from abuse and to take steps to mitigate farming’s environmental impact for the benefit of animals domestic and wild.
National Puppy Mill Awareness Day — Sept. 17
Those in search of a new puppy may have a specific breed in mind, and there is no shortage of classified ads and pet stores willing to cater to that impulse. Sadly, the “purebred” puppies often found at the other end of such solicitations have often arrived there by dubious means, to say the least. Conditions in puppy mills — where individuals breed dogs without regard to their health, safety or comfort — are shocking, and the Humane Society of the United States takes this yearly opportunity to remind potential pet owners to use caution when adding a new pup to the family.
National Elephant Appreciation Day — Sept. 22
Created almost 20 years ago, National Elephant Appreciation Day has a simple mission: to encourage us to take a few moments to consider and enjoy the wizened elephant, one of the most iconic animals on Earth. Interesting facts about these imposing pachyderms are too numerous to list here — suffice to say they are the largest land mammal on the planet, can live to be as old as 70 and are so beloved in popular culture as to have appeared in countless books and films. Elephants have even made their way into everyday speech, in phrases such as “elephant in the room” and "a thundering herd of elephants." Sadly, these incredible creatures are struggling in their native lands of Africa and Asia, but there are ways to help, and not only on this particular day.