Fun ways to celebrate animals this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s is a great reminder every year to celebrate those you love … including the furry kind. Here are six fun (and unexpected!) ways for animal lovers to celebrate this weekend:

♥ Love this! This year’s batch of Sweethearts heart candies have some cute new messages, including “pugs & kittens.” The sweet expression was created by a sixth-grader in California who loves animals. She won a contest held by NECCO to include the phrase on this year’s candies.

candies

♥ We all know the movie “50 Shades of Grey” premieres this Valentine’s Day. February is also Spay/Neuter Awareness Month. Put them together and you have … the #50ShadesofSpay hashtag contest sponsored by Found Animals! Organizations offering spay/neuter programs can share photos all month long of animals helped, along with this hashtag; then, at month’s end, five winners will receive a $2,500 grant. You can help spread the word for spay/neuter awareness by retweeting your favorite photos.

♥ Find “the one” this weekend: Special Valentine’s Day adoptions will be happening at many local animal shelters—often with the fee waived! Also check your local Humane Society to see if they’re offering a Valentine’s Day open house. National PetSmart stores have also teamed with more than 3,000 animal welfare organizations for a Be My Valentine adoption weekend.

♥ Here’s a cool idea for Valentine’s: Take a selfie with wolves! Yes, for a $60 donation, The Wolf Run sanctuary in Kentucky will let visitors take a photo with one of the wolf “ambassadors” on site. The money will raise much-needed funds for medical care, food and more. (This year’s event is already sold out, so book early next year.)

♥ And how adorable is this? The Indiana Canine Assistant Network is offering “puppy grams” for Valentine’s to raise extra funds. The Kentucky Humane Society is doing it, too—but not just “puppy grams,” “kitten grams” as well. I’d like one, please!

♥ And for the chocolate lovers: How about a box of delicious, molded confections in animal shapes? These look especially darling (and good enough to eat): box of mice, box of penguins, and chocolate cats and dogs.

{P.S. This stat is funny: According to DogVacay, an online community of pet sitters, 75 percent of respondents would rather snuggle with their pet on Valentine’s than their significant other.}

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