All of us can make a difference for animals in our everyday lives, whether it’s by adopting a pet, choosing products not tested on animals, eating with conscience, or engaging the community in animal protection issues.
With so many widespread problems facing animals, it takes all of our collective efforts to confront cruelty and change things for the better.
Here are 25 ideas for ways you can help animals locally and around the world.
Get involved in your community
- Write letters to the editor on animal protection issues and encourage radio and television talk shows to cover these topics (hsi.org is a great resource for information).
- Approach your place of worship about engaging in animal protection issues. See what the HSUS Faith Outreach team has been doing for ideas.
- Help community cats in your neighborhood with the HSUS’s Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) resources.
- Ask your local restaurants and grocery stores to switch to cage-free eggs.
- Take a stand against puppy mills and encourage local stores that sell live animals to stop. Ask pet stores to work with animal welfare organizations to promote animals available for adoption.
- Promote Meatless Mondays in your school, workplace cafeteria, or in your favorite restaurant. It’s a campaign that’s good for animals, the environment, and our health.
Help animals in your everyday life
- Educate yourself by signing up for email action alerts and news from HSI. Share emails with friends.
- “Like” HSI on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
- Eat with conscience. Practice the 3 Rs of eating. Reduce your consumption of meat and other animal-based foods, refine your diet by avoiding animal products derived from factory farming, and replace meat and other animal-based foods with vegetarian options.
- Add an HSI video to your website, blog, or social networking page.
- Adopt a friend for life from a local animal shelter or foster an animal waiting for a permanent home. Search World Animal Net’s directory and choose “Pet Adoption” or “Foster Homes” under “Select Focus or Activity.” If you live in the U.S., search The Shelter Pet Project.
- Be a responsible pet owner. Have your pet spayed or neutered to prevent unwanted births. Put a collar and visible identification on your dogs and cats and encourage others to do the same. And keep your cats safe indoors.
- Pledge to be cruelty-free and only purchase cosmetics that are certified [PDF] to be non-animal-tested.
- Support compassion in fashion by consulting the Fur-Free Retailer Program’s list of fur-free retailers, designers and brands and The HSUS’s guide [PDF] to telling real fur from fake.
- Prepare a disaster kit for you and your animals.
- Avoid supporting cruelty as “entertainment.” Do not attend bullfights, bull fiestas, or marine mammal shows.
- Make compassionate purchasing decisions while traveling and at home with the help of our Don’t Buy Wild guide.
- Ask restaurants that serve shark fin soup to stop.
- Make a personal annual gift to HSI or sign up for an automatic monthly pledge using your credit card.
- Share this list with family members and friends so they can learn how their actions can help animals, too.
Participate in trainings and events
- Attend The HSUS/HSI’s Animal Care Expo (location in U.S. varies) or The HSUS’s Taking Action for Animals conference (Washington, D.C.)
- Organize a World Spay Day event to promote awareness of spay/neuter as a means of saving the lives and improving the welfare of dogs and cats.
Volunteer for animals
- Offer your time and skills to your local animal welfare/protection organization. A useful resource is the World Animal Net directory. Do make sure you are comfortable with the positions and actions of any group you volunteer for. You can also volunteer ”virtually” for groups anywhere in the world!!
- Some ways you may be able to help animal protection organizations: fundraise, manage their website or social media presence, design and produce flyers and/or advertisements, set up a community education booth, or take photographs of animals available for adoption.
Reach out to youth and schools
- Teach children and teens to respect animals with humane education activities and lesson plans.
- Provide classrooms and youth clubs with our How to Avoid Dog Bites booklet [PDF]
- Give talks at local schools about factory farming and how students can help animals at every meal by avoiding factory farmed products, and by choosing cage-free eggs and plant-based foods. Encourage them to ask their cafeterias to go cage-free and to adopt Meatless Monday.