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February 24, 2014

55 Ways to Help Animals

Easy steps to get involved, make a difference

  • Adopt a pet from your local animal shelter or rescue group. Bruce E. Stidham

All of us can make a difference for animals in our everyday lives, whether it's by adopting a pet, choosing products not tested on animals, eating a humane diet, or engaging your community in animal protection issues. With so many widespread problems facing animals, it takes all of our collective efforts to confront these cruelties and change things for the better.

Here are 55 ideas for ways you can help animals in your community and across the country. Please share this list with any of your friends and family members who are also interested in advocating for animal protection.

Volunteer or intern with The HSUS »

Support The HSUS's campaigns and programs

Connect with us

1. Sign up for our email alerts to get involved in helping to pass state and federal legislation.
2. Visit our pages on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and other online networks
3. Sign up to receive text message alerts from The HSUS on your cell phone.
4. Add an HSUS video to your website, blog, or social networking page.
5. Subscribe to Wayne Pacelle’s daily blog and weekly podcast for the latest animal news from The HSUS's president and CEO.
6. Attend The HSUS’s Animal Care Expo (location varies), Taking Action for Animals conference in  Washington, D.C., Genesis Awards Benefit Gala in Los Angeles, or one of our other events.

Be an advocate and spread the word

7. Write letters to the editor on our issues.
8. Ask your local radio and television stations to air HSUS public service announcements and our Shelter Pet Project PSAs.

  • Help us stop puppy mills and animal fighting.

9. Post flyers and spread the word about our puppy mill and animal fighting rewards and tip lines.
10. Distribute HSUS literature at events and stores.
11. Encourage radio and television talk shows to discuss animal issues.
12. Sponsor a “Stop Puppy Mills” billboard in your community.
13. Ask your local restaurants and grocery stores to switch to cage-free eggs, and to protect seals by boycotting Canadian seafood.
14.
Join us in applauding pet stores that have taken a stand against puppy mills—support the more than 1,000 stores that have joined our Puppy Friendly Pet Stores initiative. Encourage local stores that do sell puppies to stop.
15. Organize a World Spay Day event in your community.
16. Arrange coffee or lunch dates to introduce The HSUS and our programs to people who care about animals.
17. Work to get your local universities or your child's schools to participate in Meatless Mondays, join our Cage-Free Campus campaign, or add vegetarian options to their menu.
18. Book and sponsor HSUS staff for lectures at schools and universities—contact us if you're interested.
19. Sponsor a local classroom and give Kind News magazine to elementary students or a young animal lover you may know.

Raise funds for our work

20. See how you can raise funds for animals at MyHumane.
21. Make a personal annual gift to The HSUS or sign up for an automatic monthly pledge on your credit card.
22. Make a memorial gift in honor of a friend or animal companion or give gift memberships to friends or family members.
23. Host a house party through our Philanthropy department, and have an HSUS executive or subject expert speak at the event.
24. Ensure The HSUS is eligible for giving programs at your workplace.
25. Donate your used vehicle to benefit The HSUS.
26. Include The HSUS as a beneficiary in your will.
27. Apply for The Humane Society of the United States Discover card that benefits you and animals! You get cash back and The HSUS benefits every time you make a purchase.
28. 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.
29. 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.
30. Shop with other HSUS Corporate Supporters and help animals with every purchase—coffee, flowers, wine, jewelry, and more.
31. When searching or shopping online, use the GoodSearch toolbar.
32. Check out what people are selling to benefit us when you shop on eBay.

What you can do on your own

Help animals in your everyday life

33. Purchase cruelty-free cosmetics and household products.
34. Participate in Meatless Mondays, and get our weekly recipe emailed or texted to you. 
35. Adopt a pet from a local animal shelter or rescue group.

36. 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.
37. 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.
38. Turn your outdoor space into a backyard sanctuary and find humane ways to deal with problem wildlife.  
39. I.D. your animals and encourage others to do the same. And keep your cats safe indoors.
40. Prepare a disaster kit for your animals.
41. Learn what legislation is now pending in Congress, and contact your federal and state legislators.

Get involved in your community

42. Help feral cats in your neighborhood with our Trap-Neuter-Return resources.
43. Work to engage your church or place of worship with animal protection issues. Our Faith Outreach program website offers many resources.
44. Encourage your local officials to find long-lasting, nonlethal solutions to conflicts with Canada geese, deer, coyotes, beavers, and other urban wildlife.
45. Provide for your animals’ future in case you can’t care for them.

46. Participate in Animal Rescue Team training and sign up to help animals in crisis.
47. Attend or help organize a Lobby 101 training program in your community.
48. Train to become a humane educator and develop outreach programs in your community.
49. Determine which elected officials represent you at local, state, and federal levels.
50. Study our legislative priorities and attend lawmakers’ town meetings to urge them to support these issues.
51. 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.
52. Register to vote.
53. Engage kids and teens with humane education activities and lesson plans.
54. Lead Mission: Humane projects for students and animal clubs who want to help animals.

Work with other organizations

55. Your local animal shelter and rescue organizations are likely in need of volunteers and assistance from the community. Find a local organization, or seek out more local opportunities at volunteermatch.org.

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