The Boone County Board of Supervisors met for its regular meeting Tuesday at the Boone County Courthouse, 201 State St., in the board room. At 2 p.m., Supervisors Bill Lusher, Tom Foster and Mike O'Brien signed the Boone Area Humane Society's proclamation for National Be Kind to Animals Week, which begins Sunday, May 3 and runs through Saturday, May 9.
The proclamation by the Boone Area Humane Society, 228 W. 16th St., joins it with the American Humane Association in celebrating the 94th annual Be Kind to Animals Week.
Representing the Boone Area Humane Society Tuesday were Rick Carlyle, Executive Director for the Boone Area Humane Society, and Gretchen Stark, Vice President of Publicity and Education for the Boone Area Humane Society Board.
"This observance was instituted to recognize and promote kindness, compassion and deference to all animals," Stark said. "We must not forget our responsibilities to animals by providing shelter, food, and veterinary care, and to respect and maintain the wildlife's habitat. Spaying and neutering dogs and cats is the single most important step in preventing homeless and unwanted animals."
Stark said that while National Be Kind to Animals is only observed one week out of the year, it is an issue that should constantly be on the minds of citizens.
"This is a weekly observance, but it certainly should be done year round," she said. "Since we have taken animals into our lives, we have a responsibility to take care of them and to do it humanely. We hope that all that we do reflects being kind to animals. It's certainly our mission."
In observance of National Be Kind to Animals Week, there are numerous things that the American Humane Association recommends that pet owners and animal lovers can do. One that is always recommended for pet owners is to spay or neuter their dogs and cats and to always have identification on an animal's collar. Those collars should be checked to ensure that they are not too tight. This is especially important on growing kittens and puppies. Identification can be taken to another level of identification and protection by microchipping an animal. Microchipping can be done at a veterinarian's office.
Animal abuse should always be reported to the Humane Society or law enforcement. Being kind to animals should be taught to children at a young age. They should be taught to respect and admire what animals bring to them.
Locally, citizens are reminded that lost animals should be taken to the BAHS shelter when they are found. If an animal is lost, it is recommended that the pet owner call or visit the shelter. Carlyle reminds community members of what to do if they see a lost animal.
"If you see an animal that appears to be lost - call the shelter with your location, the description of the animal and the direction it is going," he said.
Carlyle also recommended that pet owners keep their pets' medical information up-to-date and where they can readily use it, in case of an emergency. He said pet owners are encouraged to call the shelter if they need pet care information or advice and the help is always free.
Community members are encouraged to help local wildlife by putting bird feeders and bird baths in their yards and to plant bushes, which feed butterflies.
If an individual or family are looking to adopt a certain size or breed of dog or cat, they should call the shelter and their name, phone number and the type of animal they want will be put in a book. When the animal that they are looking for arrives at the shelter, they will be contacted to come and look at it.
Community members that would like to get a little exercise while brightening an animal's day can do so by walking local shelter dogs.
"There is a little orientation involved with it, but people need to have a confident feeling to handle animals safely, and if you are 16 or under you need to have an adult with you to do that," Stark said. "People do bring out their children, which is fine."
The Boone Area Humane Society is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Animal Control is available Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on the Humane Society, call 432-6112.