I admit it — I am a bona fide animal lover. One look in my house — with my two dogs, four cats, two frogs and a turtle — and it is hard to deny that I literally live in a zoo.
But you don’t need to be pet owner or animal lover to see how animals can inspire kindness in others.
Time and time again we hear stories about how our four-legged friends and other animals show random acts of kindness towards humans.
Take for example Binti-Jua, the gorilla who cradled an injured boy who fell into the gorilla enclosure in her arms, protecting him from the other animals until he could be rescued by a zookeeper. Or Oscar the therapy cat, who layed with and comforted nursing home residents while they took their last breaths.
We all have the opportunity to show kindness towards animals, just as they show kindness towards us.
Who hasn’t seen those TV commercials that show neglected and abused animals longing for someone to show them some simple act of kindness?
Even the toughest of hearts can’t help but be melted as their innocent eyes stare longingly while “In the Eyes of the Angels” plays in the background.
If there was ever an opportunity to practice kindness, volunteering with abused or homeless animals is it.
Whether you are a dog person, a cat lover, a horse fanatic, or even a reptile aficionado, there are ample opportunities to help those creatures that so badly need some kindness in their lives.
Filling out an application and taking a short class is all that is required to start making a difference at your local Humane Society or SPCA. And by making a simple phone call to an animal rescue organization, you can learn how you can help mistreated animals.
My children started volunteering at the Humane Society at a young age. They would walk dogs, brush cats, and spend time petting and socializing with the animals.
Although my daughter is grown and my boys are teenagers now, they still make time to visit homeless, abused and disabled animals. My youngest son even donates $15.00 every month to sponsor Minka, a disabled cat at the Feline Rescue of Northern Nevada (FRONN).
I believe my children’s acts of kindness towards animals is fostered by the kindness shown to them in return. Kindness will almost always be reciprocated when it comes to animals.