How YOU Can Make a Difference:
After discussion with animal welfare and industry leaders and extensive research into the fields of animal wellbeing, the Kirkpatrick Foundation has identified areas of ongoing focus in the state of Oklahoma. The pages within this section highlight the list of areas plus a few suggested local organizations and non-profits related to those topics. The link to the organization will provide you with more information about the areas with possible ways you can get involved to improve animal well-being in your Oklahoma community.
Thinking about how you can help animals in your community? Consider these Kirkpatrick Foundation suggestions for bringing the best care to your neighborhood creatures.
- Promote humane education in pre-K-12 public, private and charter schools, after-school programs, day care centers, and public venues such as libraries. (Include information on responsible pet ownership, dog bite prevention, etc.)
- Work with city officials to develop a fenced-in dog park with benches, signage, and a team of volunteers to maintain the area.
- Identify, recognize, and publicize “dog-friendly” establishments.
- Install quality signage throughout the neighborhood to suggest and reinforce animal-friendly and responsibility values, including picking up after your pet. (Provide standardized posters for business owners to display in windows.)
- Provide quality Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and spay/neuter outreach opportunities in partnership with a larger organization.
- Encourage residential property owners and tenants to work together to identify those owners who welcome pets in rental properties.
- Plan monthly or quarterly neighborhood animal care clinics with a qualified veterinarian to provide basic services and pet-related information (identification, vaccinations, animal behavior, etc.).
- Name an honorary and rotating animal laureate or liaison to counsel neighbors on new and exciting ways to support the animals and animal owners in the community.
- Promote service outreach programs through neighborhood churches to assist with animal care, feeding and well-being for special needs populations (the elderly, veterans, people with disabilities, etc.).
- Incorporate an animal component in neighborhood events, such as festivals or block parties.
- Add tips, features or profiles devoted to animals on the neighborhood association website or newsletter with links to local or national animal-related organizations for additional information.
- Plan an annual pet blessing or pet memorial for neighborhood animals and/or participate in other animal observances, such as Be Kind to Animals Week, Adopt-A-Cat (or Dog) Month, etc.
- Include an animal component for neighborhood watch teams, including information on relevant leash laws and the reporting process for suspected animal abuse, pet breeding, hoarding, etc.
- Adopt a “See it? Stop it!” or similar theme to encourage reporting of animal abuse. Develop fliers or postcards for businesses to distribute to customers, schools, visitors, etc.
- Inform businesses and residents of emergency resources, protocols, and plans for animals (emergency sheltering, preparedness, etc.) in case of natural or man-made disaster.