SPCA offers New Year?s resolutions for animal lovers

?Tis the season for making New Year?s resolutions!

The BC SPCA encourages animal lovers to consider the following New Year?s resolutions that make life better for the animals in their communities:

1. Make sure your pets have proper identification.

The SPCA reunites thousands of lost animals with their families every year. However, many lost animals are never claimed and must be adopted into new homes because the SPCA cannot find their original guardians. Ideally, your pets should have ID tags on their collar and either a microchip or tattoo. Make sure the information is accurate and up to date.

2. Exercise your dog at least twice a day

(if you?ve also resolved to shed a few pounds in 2009, this will benefit you both). And if you don?t have a dog, volunteer to walk dogs at your local shelter.

3. Switch to pet-friendly propylene-based antifreeze.

If your garage doesn?t carry it, purchase it at a local retailer and bring it in yourself.

4. Help an injured homeless or wild animal get emergency veterinary care

by contributing to the BC SPCA Biscuit Fund. This special program directs 100 per cent of donations toward veterinary care and rehabilitation costs. Visit spca.bc.ca/biscuit to sponsor a specific animal and learn about unique ways to contribute.

5. Wildlife is often injured as the result of human activity. Make sure to properly dispose of items that can potentially harm wild animals, such as household cleaners, plastic bags and cigarette butts. Better yet, switch to environmentally friendly cleaners and use fabric bags instead of plastic.

6. Get involved in the BC SPCA?s annual Paws for a Cause… Walk for the Animals campaign.

Register as an individual, put together a team, or become a sponsor. The society?s signature event takes place in 37 communities across the province in September, but planning starts early. See spca.bc.ca/walk for details.

7. Consider adopting a shelter animal.

The BC SPCA?s many branches, adoption centres and satellite facilities have hundreds of dogs, cats, rabbits and small animals just waiting for a family to love.

8. Voice your support for improvements to federal regulations protecting Canadian farm animals

during transportation at spca.bc.ca/farm.

9. Make sure your pet is cared for in the event of your death.

The BC SPCA?s Pet Survivor Care Program offers a number of options to secure your faithful friend?s future, from a free basic registration of your pet to ensure it is adopted into a new, loving home, to variably priced premium and custom plans that take into account every aspect of your pet?s needs.

10. Choose your food wisely.

Make a commitment to purchase foods raised according to high standards of animal welfare. Look for BC SPCA Certified products in the meat and dairy sections of your grocery store; if you can?t find certified products at your grocery store, download a Customer Request Card from the SPCA website and give it to the store manager. See spca.bc.ca/farm for more information.

11. Register to volunteer at your local BC SPCA shelter or humane society.

We can?t exist without our amazing volunteers.

12. And finally, keep your neighbourhood clean for both people and pets

by picking up after your dog. Pet stores and even some grocery stores sell biodegradable bags that are perfect for the task.

For more information on animals for adoption, pet care information and advocacy initiatives to help animals in your community, visit the BC SPCA website at spca.bc.ca.