Photo: Diane Lewis
Volunteer with The HSUS.
Perhaps the number-one question I get in my travels and meeting with our supporters is, “How can I get more involved with The HSUS and with the cause of animal protection?” Today, here’s an updated and expanded guide to help you or people you know get involved.
By taking some of the following actions, you can exert a tremendous, beneficial impact on the lives of animals. And when lots of people take the actions, we become an even more powerful collective force in our communities, in the political arena, and in the marketplace.
Please take some time in the days, weeks, and months ahead to make your way through as many items as you can. And as you do, let me add an item—please share this list or any specific elements with friends or family members who are also interested in advocating for animals.
Get involved in your community:
- Write letters to the editor on our issues and encourage radio and television talk shows to cover animal issues (humanesociety.org is a great resource for information).
- Ask your local radio and television stations to air HSUS public service announcements and our Shelter Pet Project PSAs.
- Work to engage your church or place of worship with animal protection issues. Our Faith Outreach program website offers many resources.
- Encourage your office to implement dog-friendly policies. Our book "Dogs at Work: A Practical Guide to Creating Dog-Friendly Workplaces" provides step-by-step advice.
- Help feral cats in your neighborhood with our Trap-Neuter-Return resources.
- Join us in applauding pet stores that have taken a stand against puppy mills—support the more than 1,900 stores that have joined our Puppy Friendly Pet Stores initiative. Encourage local stores that do sell puppies to stop.
- Ask your local restaurants and grocery stores to switch to cage-free eggs, and to protect seals by boycotting Canadian seafood.
- Buy a subscription to Animal Sheltering magazine for your local shelter or animal rescue group.
- Sponsor a “Stop Puppy Mills” billboard in your community.
Help animals in your everyday life:
- Follow the 3 Rs of eating: reducing your consumption of meat and other animal-based foods, refining your diet by avoiding animal products derived from factory farming, and replacing meat and other animal-based foods with vegetarian foods.
- Purchase cruelty-free cosmetics and household products.
- Support compassion in fashion, consulting The HSUS's list of fur-free retailers, designers, and brands and our guide on how to tell real fur from fake.
- Adopt a friend for life from a local animal shelter or foster an animal waiting for a home.
- Learn about non-lethal methods of managing urban wildlife and about creating sanctuary for wildlife around your home.
- Make sure your pets have collars with identification, and encourage others to do the same. And keep your cats safe indoors.
- Provide for your animals’ future in case you can’t care for them.
- Participate in Meatless Monday and sign up for our weekly meat-free recipes.
- Prepare a disaster kit for your animals.
- Visit our pages on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and other online networks. And “like” your state Facebook page to stay up-to-date on local issues affecting animals.
- Add an HSUS video to your website, blog, or social networking page.
- Sign up to receive text message alerts from The HSUS on your cell phone.
Participate in trainings and events:
- Attend The HSUS’s Animal Care Expo (location varies), Taking Action for Animals conference (Washington, D.C.), or the Genesis Awards (Los Angeles).
- Attend or help organize a Lobby 101 training program in your community.
- Train to become a humane educator and develop outreach programs in your community.
- Take a workshop or online course through Humane Society University.
- Organize a World Spay Day event in your community.
Heather Fone/The HSUS
Volunteer at a wildlife center, animal shelter, or rescue.
Volunteer to help animals:
- Explore volunteer opportunities with The Humane Society of the United States.
- Volunteer your time and skills with your local animal shelter, wildlife rehabilitation center or rescue group. You can visit www.volunteermatch.org and search the term “animal.”
- Sign up to be an Animal Rescue Volunteer.
- Volunteer to monitor property with The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust.
- Help people and pets in under-served communities by volunteering with our Pets for Life or Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association Rural Area Veterinary Services programs.
- Volunteer for egg addling or other humane wildlife control programs for Canada geese or other species targeted for killing by government officials.
- Find out which elected officials represent you at local, state, and federal levels.
- Contact your federal and state legislators about animal protection issues. There is a raft of pending legislation now before Congress.
- Sign up for our email alerts to get involved in helping to pass state and federal legislation.
- Study our legislative priorities and attend lawmakers’ town meetings to urge them to support these issues.
- Work for the passage of local ordinances in your community, for example to protect chained dogs or improve the lives of dogs in puppy mills.
- Register to vote.
Reach out to youth and schools:
- Sponsor a local classroom and give the gift of KIND News to elementary students or a young animal lover you may know.
- Engage kids and teens with humane education activities and lesson plans.
- Lead Mission: Humane projects for students and animal clubs who want to help animals.
- Work to get your local universities or your child's schools to join our "Cage-Free Campus" campaign or to add vegetarian options to their menu.
- Book and sponsor Humane Society of the United States staff for lectures at schools and universities—contact us if you're interested.
Help animals while you shop:
- Shop at Humane Domain—our online store—for pet products, Cause Gear that supports our campaigns and programs, and unique gifts for animal lovers.
- Purchase pet health insurance from Petplan and receive a 5 percent discount—and with each completed application, Petplan will make a $20 donation to our Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association's Rural Area Veterinary Services program. Use code HSUS20.
- Purchase or renew your subscriptions at The HSUS Magazine Store for up to 80 percent off newsstand prices, order personal checks through our website, and create custom gifts from Zazzle, including stamps and cards.
- Shop with other HSUS Corporate Supporters and help animals with every purchase—coffee, flowers, wine, jewelry, skins for electronic devices, and more.
- When searching or shopping online, use the GoodSearch toolbar; if you shop on eBay, check out what people are selling to benefit us.
Liz Bergstrom/The HSUS
Get pet health insurance from Petplan.
Help fundraise and spread the word:
- Make a personal annual gift to The HSUS or sign up for an automatic monthly pledge on your credit card.
- Make a memorial gift in honor of a friend or animal companion or give gift memberships to friends or family members.
- Host a house party through our Philanthropy department, and have an HSUS executive or subject expert speak at the event.
- Arrange coffee or lunch dates to introduce The HSUS and our programs to people who care about animals.
- Ensure The HSUS is eligible for giving programs at your workplace.
- Donate your used vehicle to benefit The HSUS.
- Include The HSUS as a beneficiary in your will.