Twice on the blog I've posted a list of potential action items for those who want to become more involved in animal protection and the work of The Humane Society of the United States. Here it is in updated and expanded form.
We need your active involvement in the cause and the impact you'll have as you tick items off of this list cannot be overstated. When we act in a collective way, we are a more powerful and effective 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 the roster and make your way through as many items as you can. And as you do, let me add an item -- number "56", which calls on you to share this list or any specific element with any friends or family members who are also interested in advocating for animals.
- Write letters to the editor on our issues and encourage radio and television talk shows to present 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.
- Distribute HSUS literature at events and stores.
- 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.
- 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.
- I.D. your animals 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.
- 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.
- Join us in applauding pet stores that have taken a stand against puppy mills -- support the more than 850 stores that have joined our Puppy Friendly Pet Stores initiative. Encourage local stores that do sell puppies to stop.
- Visit our pages on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, 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.
- 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 and 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 a workshop or online course through Humane Society University.
- Organize a Spay Day USA event in your community.
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 for killing by government officials.
- Volunteer time and skills with your local animal shelter or rescue group.
- Explore volunteer opportunities with our Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association Field Services program.
- Determine 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.
- This year, help support the YES! on Prop B campaign in Missouri, to save dogs from suffering in cruel conditions in puppy mills. Also, in Arizona, Proposition 109 promises to take away your voting rights and prevent future wildlife protection ballot measures. Arizona voters should oppose this measure.
with Local 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, tweens 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 HSUS staff for lectures at schools and universities -- contact us if you're interested.
- Apply for the HSUS credit card or open a checking account through Bank of America (The HSUS receives a portion of the net purchases).
- 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 five percent discount. Use code SPD20002.
- 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 of 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.
- 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.
This post originally appeared on Pacelle's blog, A Humane Nation.