Preventing Animal Abuse

Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for animal abuse, but there are so many things we can all do to help. None of them will make animal abuse disappear tomorrow, but every little bit helps lower the risk further down the road.

And you don't have to be an animal "fanatic" to do it. You don't have to be a member of every animal rights organization on earth. There are so many things "regular"people can to do to have an impact...

Take care of the animals you have, and encourage others to do the same...

For the most part, many people's hearts are in the right place when it comes to their pets, they simply don't know all the facts. In educating people about how to better care for their own animals, we hear many of the same excuses, and they don't even *realize* that they are inadvertently putting their animals at greater risk, because no one has ever explained it to them. So the first part is to get involved enough to educate yourself. Then you can begin educating other people.

Volunteer/Donate to a local rescue shelter...

Not all of us have a lot of time or money at our disposal, but many people don't realize how little it takes. Rescue shelters are always eager for any help you can give them, and most of them are tremendously appreciative if you can just come in a few hours a week to *play* with the animals! Obviously, if you can do more, you definitely should. But the point is that the overall perception of what's involved with "volunteering" always is that it has to consume huge quantities of your life. Its great if you're in a position where it *can*, but even a few hours a week can make a difference.

And most importantly, be creative! If you have a little extra time, help the rescue shelters organize car washes, bake sales, whatever else you can think of to help them raise funding for the work that they do. With a group of people working on it, it doesn't need to consume your life. Sometimes all they need is someone to think of the idea!

Get Involved with your local government...

Animal abuse/cruelty is a felony in only 31 states. We invite you - and anyone else - to search through the abuse database, and read some of the crimes, and the sentences that have been given to the criminals. Writing to your local government doesn't take very long, and it will help your local government know that something needs to be done about this problem, and that animal abuse needs to be taken seriously.

Take a moment to send polite letters to the prosecutor in our action alert cases, and let them know that you appreciate their efforts and encourage them to take a strong stand against animal cruelty.� In many of our action alert cases, we have a form set up so that you can fax the prosecutor right from our web page.� Send the alerts on to friends and family that feel strongly about community violence.� If you're new to writing letters, read through the tips on letter writing for a good idea of how to get started.

Be Creative!

Each and every person possesses skills and strengths that they can use. All it takes is a little applied thinking and some creativity with how you can use the skills you already have to make a difference. Combine that with some passion, and you can do wonders. Some examples...

  • Good with kids? Volunteer to help with local abuse prevention education programs for schools in your area.
  • Like to cook? Approach a few stores nearby and ask them if they will sell some of your baked goods in their store, to benefit the local shelter. It wouldn't even cost much... baking supplies, some ribbon, saran wrap, and some printer paper. Wrap the cookies in the saran wrap, tie it with a ribbon. Print out little tags that explain where the profit goes, cut them into squares that can be easily tied onto the ribbon.
  • Love to draw? Help your local shelters by drawing some humane education comic books or coloring books.

There are tons of things that people can do, and when they combine their hearts with something that they love doing, it doesn't even feel like work. What's more, when you're passionate about it, and you're feeling good about it, it becomes infectious, and will motivate the people around you! We're the perfect example really... after all, we're just "regular people" too. :)

A small group of people can make a BIG difference!

Just a handful of motivated people (or even one person!) can be enough to make a big difference in the lives of animals in the community. Don't take our word for it though! Check out this spotlight on the Best Friends website: What Can One Person Do?

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