Do you want the world to be a safer, kinder place for animals? Take action! Mahatma Gandhi, a famous world leader, once said, "You must be the change you want to see in the world." This page features some of our favourite ways you can be the change you want to see for animals.
Want to discover even more ways to make a difference? Become a BC SPCA Kids Club member and you'll receive Bark! magazine four times a year, plus our special Animal Action Activity Sheet, with plenty more ideas to help you in your mission to help animals.
Get inspired by reading about other kids in our High Paws Hall of Fame who have made a difference for animals, or tell us what you're doing to take action.
Want to make a difference for animals while having fun with friends? Learn how to start a school animal club and get ideas for club events and projects.
Walk to fight animal cruelty
Did you know that tens of thousands of animals need assistance from the BC SPCA each year? That's why we hold the Scotiabank & BC SPCA Paws for a Cause every September – to raise awareness and funds for abused, injured and abandoned animals around B.C.
- Put your best paw forward! Sign up with your family to attend the Scotiabank & BC SPCA Paws for a Cause event in your area. Each event includes a walk, plus activities and entertainment for kids, dogs and parents, too!
- Once you've registered, you can start a Paws for a Cause campaign. Ask friends, family and neighbours for donations, or hold a fundraiser of your own (think lemonade stands, car washes and bake sales).
- Encourage others to register and join you in having fun while making a difference!
Bake a difference
So you want to make a difference... but did you know you can also BAKE a difference? Every February, animal lovers across Canada bake and decorate cupcakes to celebrate National Cupcake Day for SPCAs & Humane Societies - and you can be a part of it!
- Ask friends to help out with making cupcakes and planning your party. You can even create an official Cupcake Day Team!
- On National Cupcake Day, show off your baking skills and your love for animals by sharing your cupcakes in exchange for donations to the BC SPCA.
Don't trash wildlife
Household garbage is a big problem for wildlife. Why? Because it often ends up littered at the park, school or beach – not to mention the landfill, which is not off limits to animals! Birds, land mammals and marine life are all put in danger by our trash. Along with pledging never to litter, there are actions you can take to help keep animals safe.
- Limit the number of plastic bags and containers you use. If you do use these things, try to choose ones that can be re-used or recycled.
- Prepare your garbage so animals don't get strangled or suffocated by it. Cut up six-pack rings before you dispose of them, as animals can easy get tangled in the loops. And always be sure to wash containers thoroughly (so animals don't have a reason to stick their heads in) and recycle where possible!
- Clean up trash! Gather your friends, family or club members and, if you live near the ocean, organize a shoreline clean-up.
ID is key
Animals can't talk to us, so when pets get lost, it's important they have some other way to communicate. Sadly, many lost pets have no way of communicating, because they have no identification. Cats are especially at risk. While most dogs at least have a license saying where they're from, most cats have nothing. This is why just 11 per cent of lost cats are reunited with their families, compared to 66 per cent of lost dogs.
- If you have pets, make sure they have two pieces of ID. That means a tag with your family's contact information and a tattoo or microchip which can be done by your veterinarian. You can even make your own Shrinky Dink Pet ID Tag (pdf). If your family moves, remember to update the address on the tag as well as with your veterinarian or the microchip company.
- Spread the word about the importance of two pieces of ID for pets! Colour our ID poster (pdf), then ask to display it at your local dog park, shopping mall or community centre. You'll be reminding pet guardians to give their animals a voice if they get lost.
Become a food detective
Do you know where your food comes from – and where it goes if you don't eat it? The food we consume (or waste) every day has a big impact on animals and the environment. You can take action by learning about how your food gets to your plate, and making even small changes to how you eat.
Talk to your family about choosing meats, dairy and eggs that are SPCA Certified or Certified Organic. These certifications guarantee that the animals are raised to a high standard of animal welfare. It's also a great idea to visit and get products at local farms, where your family can meet the farmer and know exactly where your food comes from.
- Try "Meatless Mondays" with your family. Almost one-fifth of global warming emissions come from raising livestock for food, so eating less meat - even cutting it out one day a week - not only helps animals, but can reduce climate change, too!
- Finish your food! Did you know that 40 per cent of food in Canada is wasted - and 51 per cent of that is thrown out in household garbage? Make it your family's mission not to waste food. Only buy and prepare what you know you can eat before it spoils. If you have leftovers, save them for the next day or freeze them for the future. If you absolutely cannot finish everything, compost instead of throwing in the trash so it doesn't end up in the landfill.