HOW YOU CAN HELP ANIMALS
The only effective way to help animals is to “take action.” We all “feel” badly for animals either continuously or when we see an animal mistreated. When I volunteered at the Humane Society helping to adopt out cats, many people would say, “How can you work here? I can hardly come in here, because I want to take them all home.” Well, I feel just as badly for the animals but realize that you have to put their feelings and welfare above your own in order to help them. It’s not about how we “feel”—it’s about doing something to change their situation. It’s about taking action.
Another common phrase is “If I had money, I would help the animals.” Well, you definitely do not need money to make a difference in animals’ lives. There are letter-writing, e-mailing, phone calls, signing petitions and many more activities that cost little or no money, and you can make a huge difference.
One of the easiest ways to help is to sign petitions. Many animal welfare groups offer petitions in their newsletters where it just takes one “click,” and your name will be added to thousands of others. There are petitions that focus on a single animal or many animals in distress. There are petitions that target companies that sponsor animal abuse or are involved in animal abuse by association with suppliers, etc. A petition might be sent to your congressmen to urge them to vote for an animal welfare bill. Your signed petition might be automatically sent to your congressmen. It’s all preset to your location. We are continually getting e-mails from our congressman saying, “Thank you for contacting me” – sometimes several times in a day – from merely adding our name to a petition. There are petitions from Change.org, Care2ActionAlerts, HSUS, HSUS Legislative Fund, PCRM, Animal Defenders Intl., PETA, Defenders of Wildlife, Animal Legal Defense Fund, CompassionWorks Intl., just to name a few. You can sign up for their newsletter – you do not need to send money. By signing these petitions, you will be helping animals in distressing situations. In other petitions you will be casting your vote for many animal welfare bills currently in Congress. It is critical that your representatives hear your opinion.
START WITH YOUR OWN COMMUNITY TO RAISE PUBLIC AWARENESS
You can make a difference by helping animals in your own community. Maybe there is an animal shelter that needs help or needs changes. You can team up with a like-minded member(s) of your community to make a change. A letter to the editor of your local newspaper or school newspaper is a good start. Get as many people as possible to write letters expressing their concerns and solutions. Maybe the circus comes to your city. You can go to www.circusprotest.com and learn how to hold a protest. We held protests for two years in our city and a neighboring city and have made much progress in educating the public about the abuse of animals that is inherent in the circus.
Find out who among your city council members and county board of supervisors are animal lovers. Make an appointment with them and bring written information about your cause and need for change in the welfare of animals in your area. Meet another person(s) who share your vision for changing something in your community to benefit animals. Local humane society volunteers might help you. Just remember that you will need perseverance and determination to make change –that’s all it takes.
EXPRESS YOUR OPINION ABOUT A TV SHOW
If you see a TV show that you feel sends the wrong message about animals, let them know with your voice. GOOGLE the TV station and get their “Contact Us” number or e-mail and let them hear your opinion of the show. Here are some common contact numbers:
ABC – http://www.abc.go.com/feedback
CBS – www.cbs.com/feedback
Discovery Channel Animal Planet – www.discoverygo.com/contact
Today Show, MSNBC, Dateline, Nightly News – e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Good Morning America, Primetime, 20/20 and ABC News Shows – http://bit.ly/ABCfeedback
IF YOU WITNESS ANIMAL ABUSE OR ANIMALS BEING MISTREATED
You may witness animals being mistreated but may not be sure if the situation is actual animal abuse that is illegal. Don’t hesitate to call your police department or local law enforcement agency to find out if what you witnessed is illegal animal abuse. They will direct you to the right agency to help you. Try to take pictures and videos of what you have witnessed. Also, for example, you might see wild and exotic animals on display in cages at a private establishment. Voice your opinion to the establishment and share your experience on your social media pages. Contact major media outlets in your area. The following media outlets give you a direct one-click link to each TV and newspaper’s website anywhere in the U.S.:
Report abuse by e-mailing the USDA at:
Western Region – email@example.com
Eastern Region – firstname.lastname@example.org
For contact information for your state’s legislators: http://whoismyrepresentative.com/
For your state’s Governor: https://www.usa.gov/state-governor
Of course you can work directly with animals by volunteering at a local animal shelter, rescue organization, adoption agency, or rehabilitation center for animals. There are a multitude of volunteer positions that will fit your abilities and time constraints.
SPIRITUAL WAYS TO HELP
The final, and perhaps most important and powerful way we can help those sentient beings that share this planet with us is to use your consciousness with your thoughts and emotions. Visualize and focus intention for the betterment of those creatures who cannot speak for themselves, even those that are speaking to us in a language as yet unintelligible. Mindfully imagine a more peaceful life for whatever creatures you so desire wherever they might be. Offer the most precious gift we all have; some of your time, with your goal-oriented images, visualizations, and intentions–called “prayer” in all known cultures.
THANK YOU FOR HELPING THE ANIMALS!!