3 Ways You Can Lend a Helping Paw this Animal Advocacy Day
The famous civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. was once quoted saying “Never, ever be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake”. The ASPCA founded National Animal Advocacy Day on April 30th in the spirit of this principle, so we can speak up on behalf of animals, who otherwise don’t have a means of their own to protest inhumane or abusive treatment. I’d like to share my own story with you all, as well as some tips on how anyone can lend their voice to this important cause!
Here is a great place to tell your unique journey towards becoming an animal advocate!
What does animal advocacy mean to you?
How did you get where you are (this can be a personal story about a pet or volunteerism)
Why should people care about animal rights?
There are countless non-profits dedicating their time and resources towards fighting for the safety and happiness of innocent animals. Here are a few of my favorites- check them out, and let me know what others you support as well.
Best Friends Animal Society
Situated on the Utah-Arizona Border, Best Friends Animal Society is the largest no-kill animal animal shelter in the United States. With a mission to “Save Them All”, through minimizing animal homelessness and eliminating all kill shelters, the organization has set the standard for animal advocacy. Best Friends believes in joining forces with like minded organizations, communities, and individuals to make this dream a reality.
Animal Welfare Institute
Founded in 1951 to combat animal experimentation, the AWI has since expanded to address areas of animal suffering like factory conditions, the trapping industry, and marine life preservation, among many others. With net assets exceeding $11 million in the 2017 fiscal year, the AWI puts around 90 percent of its profits back into its programs, which means that a donation towards them has a more direct impact on animal welfare.
Based out of San Francisco, WildAid was formed in 2000 to fight the illegal wildlife poaching industry, most notably the ivory trade, which is a multi-billion dollar a year criminal industry. The organization receives nearly $290 million dollars a year in donations, and has successfully helped to broker ivory bans in heavy trading cities like Hong Kong and in countries like Taiwan and the U.K. WildAid encourages people to avoid buying wildlife products, and hopes to protect fragile land and marine ecosystems by educating the public on the environmental dangers of poaching.
So, you may be asking yourself: How can I have an impact? Even though many organizations do receive donations and volunteer assistance each year, every single voice adds to the conversation, and helps to further the sort of change that animals still desperately need. Check out some of the tips below for how you can get involved with animal advocacy in your community!
Pick a Spin Class with a Purpose.
Donation based exercise classes and fitness events are becoming a growing trend nowadays. Whether it’s yoga, cycling, or a charity 5K, participating in events like these are a great way to connect with like-minded people in your community, break a sweat, and donate money to a
great cause. Just make sure to check out the organization you’re donating to thoroughly to make sure that your donation is going to be put to the best use!
Start a Fundraising Campaign.
Any individual dollar counts, but it’s always great to be able to donate your time by planning a non-profit fundraiser of your very own. Creative ideas like holding a silent auction, car wash, or trivia night are a great way to engage your community in a non-traditional way. Who knows- you could end up starting a local tradition that equals a much welcomed annual contribution to a non-profit.
Leverage Your Expertise.
Are you a graphic designer, musician, educator, or scientist? Do you have a particular skill that you feel would be valuable for a non-profit’s effort in spreading the word or gaining patrons? Try donating your time and expertise to the cause. You could make flyers for their latest event, hold group discussions, or lead mentorship efforts- the possibilities are limitless. Don’t sell yourself short- send a message to your favorite charity organization explaining who you are, your background, and how you feel your experience can help their efforts. They’ll be glad to have you.
Animal advocacy shouldn’t begin and end on April 30th. Add your voice to the cause by sharing your favorite charities and fundraising tips in the comments below, and spread the word to your friends on social media!
Here are two kittens we rescued and found homes for. They were a little feral at first but within a week or two had warmed up to people quite a bit. Their names are Simon and Theodore.
Thanks so much for visiting! Feel free to leave a comment. I'd love to hear your rescue stories or ways you believe we can help animals around the world.