Humane Lobby Days are events sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States in state capitals across the country. Citizen animal advocates like you gather to learn and practice lobbying for animal protection laws at the state level. These full-day events include a lobbying workshop and an overview of relevant bills in your state legislature. Appointments are made for you with your state legislators so that you can meet with them (or their staff) face to face and ask for animal-friendly votes.
No Humane Lobby Day listed for your state yet? Check back soon—more events will be added.
Frequently asked questions
- Will I be talking to lawmakers face-to-face?
Yes, every attempt will be made to schedule a meeting with the legislators that represent you at the state capitol. In the event that your legislator cannot meet with you personally, you will get a chance to talk with one of his or her key staffers. Your meeting will generally only last a few minutes and you’ll be given specific talking points and training on what to cover during the meeting.
- What legislation will we be discussing?
There are many, many animal bills filed each year during the legislative session. We choose our priority bills for Humane Lobby Day based upon several factors, including their impact and chance of passage. There may be other animal protection topics/issues that are important to you, but focusing on the HLD selected bills we’ve chosen will make the most impact during your visit to the Capitol.
- Is there anything I can do to prepare?
It’s helpful to know your legislators before going into a meeting with them. Most elected officials have a website. Some states have humane voting leagues that keep track of legislator voting records on animal issues. Do some investigating online to learn some background on your legislators. Look up your legislators and visit our state legislation page to get started.
Maureen Howard had cold feet before attending Humane Lobby Day 2012 in New York, but reported that she had a great experience and will likely do it again. Thanks to her and her fellow Lobby Day attendees, Senator Patty Ritchie promised that she would table her Ag Gag bill. And the very next day, Sen. Ritchie pushed our Animal Fighting Paraphernalia bill to passage in the Senate, and it's now law! Hear what other attendees have to say about their experiences:
Terri D., California: "On my first Humane Lobby Day, two years ago, I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm not a shy person but was concerned my lack of knowledge and experience could be a liability. While in Washington, I met the staff of my two senators. It was fantastic! It was like being at the epicenter of what goes on with our government. I was actually there, making a point about something I feel passionate about: animal welfare. For the first time, I actually felt empowered with my government and, not to sound too corny, I felt my presence made a difference. I was reinforced that I am not one person, but I am one person with many, and together we are powerful. This is something I wish more people could feel. So if one person reads this and wants to feel the power, then just do it. I promise it will be worth the time and effort."
I figured out that really, despite my preconceptions about the process, a few voices from a legislator's constituents CAN make a difference."
Shelley H., Kansas: "I participated in my first Humane Lobby Day in February 2013. I have never officially lobbied for any cause, however because I feel so strongly about animal rights issues I was motivated to find out more about how the legislative system works. I figured out that really, despite my preconceptions about the process, a few voices from a legislator's constituents CAN make a difference. I spoke with my senator and left a document that summarized the current issues and the desired outcomes for upcoming votes. I felt like my senator was interested in what I had to say, appreciated my making time to come in and would use the summary document as a tool to quickly review the upcoming issues. I have already requested the day off work to attend the 2014 Humane Lobby Day and hope that others will take the time to learn about and participate in the process!"
Terri R., Oregon: "I got involved with Humane Lobby Day after hearing about the puppy mill bill [the Oregon Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act]. I had recently adopted a chihuahua puppy named Tucker. A few months later, I got an email from someone about Humane Lobby Day, and one of the targeted bills was the ban on puppy mills. I wanted to be involved in this as I had seen firsthand the horrible conditions these dogs are exposed to. I decided I would bring Tucker, since he is the reason I got involved in the first place. He made quite an impression and we landed on the front page of the metro section of the Oregonian. The best news is the puppy mill bill was passed into law!"
Can't Make It? Use Our Advocate Toolkit
Even if you can't attend your state's Humane Lobby Day, you can still make a difference. Start with our advocate toolkit where you can print helpful documents with tips on communicating with your legislators, writing letters to the editor, and more. Learn More