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April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month

Go Orange for Animals. Here are some ways you can celebrate.

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Volunteer at an animal shelter.

If you cannot donate your time, check with your local shelter(s) to see what items you can donate. Shelters are often in need of food, blankets, toys and cleaning supplies.

Tell the media.

Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about the importance of preventing animal cruelty. If you're hosting a fundraiser, you can also contact TV and radio stations to promote the event and raise awareness. And don't forget the power of the Internet. Get active on social media and spread the "Go Orange" message.

Tell your friends and neighbors.

You can also ask local businesses, libraries and community centers if you can hang up flyers or leave informational items for people to pick up.

Help a neighbor's animals.

Your sick or elderly neighbors might need some help caring for their pets. Offer to take their dog for a walk, help with feeding, grooming, take the cat to the vet, etc.

Organize a cleanup.

The animals in our homes aren't the only ones that need help. Wildlife can be injured by our litter. Get a group together and clean up your local parks and other outdoor areas.

Consider becoming a foster.

This is a big commitment! But if you have the time, resources and love to help an animal while he waits for his forever home, think about fostering.

Spread microchip awareness.

Having a pet microchipped can increase the chances of it being returned to you if it gets lost. If a good samaritan finds your pet and takes it to a shelter or a veterinarian, the chip will make it much easier for you to be reunited with your buddy. Many animals can be microchipped, not just dogs and cats. (Also go for the low-tech version and be sure that your pet has an ID tag on its collar.)

Volunteer with your pet.

If you've got a particularly well-behaved pet and some time to spare, check with local hospitals, nursing homes and community centers to see if they would like a visit from you and your four-legged friend.

Start a pet food bank.

Check if your local shelter or another organization runs a pet food bank and donate (either your time or some much-appreciated food). If there isn't a pet food bank in your area, think about starting one and hold pet food drives.

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