As I travel around the country, I have the privilege of meeting so many people of conscience who want to take action for animals. One of the most frequently asked questions is, "How can I be involved and what can I do to help The HSUS and animal protection?"
So many people want to do more than just write a check to The Humane Society of the United States or other animal groups.
I tell them that neither The HSUS nor the larger cause of animal protection can succeed without their active involvement in the cause. Each one of us can and must act, often in a variety of ways.
With such people in mind, I have put together a list of action items for those who want to become more involved in our work. Please take some time to go through the full roster. Print the list and check off the items over the next few weeks and months, or even over the next year, making your way through as much of it as you can. Then write to me and tell me how you’ve become involved, or let me know if you’ve found other ways to take action for animals. I’d love to hear your stories.
We’ll succeed as a movement when we have millions of our supporters who take these and other positive actions for animals. When we act in a collective way, we are a powerful force in our communities, in the political arena, and in the marketplace. And we can all pitch in to raise funds to support the vital work of The HSUS and allow it to grow and be a more powerful and effective force.
HSUS Engagement Activities
In Your Community:
- Write letters to the editor on our issues (humanesociety.org is a great resource for information).
- Encourage radio and television talk shows to present animal issues.
- Ask your local radio and television stations to air HSUS public service announcements.
- Distribute HSUS literature at events and stores.
- 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.
- 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 around your home.
- I.D. your animals and encourage others to do the same.
- Keep your cats safe indoors.
- Establish a pet care trust to ensure your animals’ future.
- Prepare a disaster kit for your animals.
- Sponsor a “Stop Puppy Mills” billboard in your community.
- Ask your local restaurants and grocery stores to switch to cage-free eggs, and to protect seals by boycotting Canadian seafood.
- Visit our pages on MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and other online networks.
- Add an HSUS banner or video to your website, blog or social networking page.
- Sign up to receive text message alerts from The HSUS on your cell phone.
Get Training—Get Activated:
- Participate in Disaster Animal Response Team training and sign up to be an NDART responder.
- Attend or help organize a Lobby 101 training program in your community.
- Train to become a humane educator, develop outreach programs in your community.
- Attend The HSUS’s Animal Care Expo (location varies), Taking Action for Animals conference (Washington, D.C.), or the Genesis Awards (Los Angeles).
- Take an online class or training session through Humane Society University.
- Organize a Spay Day USA event in your community.
Volunteer to Help Animals:
- Volunteer to monitor property with The HSUS’s Wildlife Land Trust.
- Volunteer for egg addling or other humane wildlife control programs for Canada geese or other species targeted by wildlife officials.
- Volunteer time and skills with your local animal shelter or rescue group.
- Volunteer at the Genesis Awards or another HSUS event.
- Explore volunteer opportunities with our Rural Areas Veterinary Services program.
- Determine which elected officials represent you at local, state and federal levels.
- Contact your federal and state legislators about animal protection issues.
- Consult the Humane Scorecard to determine how your members of Congress perform on animal issues.
- Sign up for our email alerts and join the Humane Action Network 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.
- Register to vote.
- Gather signatures for and help pass animal protection ballot initiatives. (We are launching an anti-factory farming ballot initiative in California within the next month, and will need thousands of volunteers over the next five months to collect signatures from voters.)
Work with Local Schools:
- Work to get The HSUS’s Kind News adopted in local classrooms.
- Sponsor humane education programs through Humane Society Youth (our humane education division for K-6 students).
- Recruit young people (under 21) to participate in Mission Humane.
- Work to get your local universities or your child’s schools to join our "Cage-Free Campus" campaign.
- Book and sponsor HSUS staff for lectures at schools and universities.
Shop with Our Corporate Supporters:
- Obtain an HSUS credit card through Bank of America (a portion of the proceeds go to The HSUS).
- Order personal checks and custom gifts from Zazzle, including stamps and cards, through our website.
- Sign up for Humane Wireless (cell phone service).
- Purchase magazines from The HSUS Magazine Store.
- Purchase a CauseCollar or find other products for pets and the people who love them through Humane Domain.
- Purchase a pet health insurance plan.
- Join our Dog Lovers Wine Club, or send a gift membership to friends or family members.
Fundraising and Networking:
- Make a personal annual gift or sign up for an automatic monthly pledge on your credit card.
- Make a memorial gift in honor of a friend or animal companion.
- Give gift memberships to friends or family members.
- Host a house party through our Development department, and have an HSUS executive or subject expert speak at the event.
- Host or participate in Party Animals events to raise money and awareness for our programs.
- 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.
- Sell books from Humane Society Press to raise funds and spread the message.