We all know that poetry changes human lives--but what about the lives of our furry best friends? Keep reading to find out how you can use your words to save an animal’s life.
- From Abuse and Abandonment to Adoption: Each year in the U.S., 6 to 8 million animals are abandoned, lost, or abused and enter animal shelters. Unfortunately, about half of these animals are not adopted in a sufficient amount of time and must be euthanized. Another 1 million animals are killed in domestic homes each year and don’t even have the opportunity to make it to a shelter. But YOU can change these statistics and use your poetry to help adopt an animal.
- Know the Signs: Animal cruelty is when a person purposefully harms and animal either physically or by taking away their resources for living like food and water. An animal is abused every 10 seconds. If you can locate the signs of an animal in trouble, you can help put an end to animal cruelty. Just because an animal seems angry or afraid doesn’t necessarily mean it’s being abused (animals have their bad days, just like humans do!). Instead, be on the lookout for specific physical signs and environmental signs of abuse.
- Report and Reveal: Say something if you see something and you could save an animal’s life. If you suspect an animal has been mistreated, be ready to submit a written report to the ASPCA about what you’ve observed. This report should also include pictures of the animal(s) you think are being abused and the environment they are being kept in as evidence. This written report is just one example of how words have the power to save a life.
- Spread the Word and Slam: Use your voice to spread awareness about animal cruelty and the benefits of shelters by holding a pet adoption poetry slam. Write a poem about why adopting pets from shelters is so important, or put yourself in a future furry friend’s shoes (er...paws) and write about their experience in an abusive home or the journey to a shelter. You can also write a poem to help educate others about the proper ways to care for animals, like making sure you are feeding them the rights foods and helping them get enough exercise.
- Be a Hero: To a pet, that is. Hop on a pet adoption site to find your local shelter and a pet who has been abandoned or abused and is just waiting to be welcomed into your home. Then write a poem about how great it feels to save an animal’s life and care for them. Share your poem about your newfound friendship on your shelter’s site to inspire others to adopt and be heroes too.
- Make Your Mark With Multimedia: Show the world how much you care about your pet(s) by combining your poem with multimedia. Maybe take a picture at each stage of your relationship with your pet (e.g. their listing on your shelter’s website, when you first met them, taking them home, etc.) and set those pictures to a voice recording of your poem. Or, make a video of yourself reading the poem to your pet (if they have a long enough attention span to sit and listen!).
- Power Poetry: Whatever form you choose to share your poem, post it on PowerPoetry.org to inform other poets about how stand up for animal rights and be a hero for a pet in need!