Be an Animal Activist

Get involved with legislation in your state, the prosecution of animal cruelty cases, and any other issues that affect the welfare and safety of our animal friends.

Find the animal rights groups in your state. Join the email list which informs members of pending legislation or opportunities to participate. Check carefully the purpose of the group to be sure you agree with its mission. Send emails, call, fax, write letters . . . just get involved! A few advocates can make so much difference for animals.

Lobby for Animals

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has a page called State Animal Cruelty Laws that lets you search for animal-related issues in your state.

State Lobbying Guide from HSUS

The Student Guide to Lobbying is published by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) which outlines the steps for developing and monitoring the status of animal protection legislation.

How to Find Animal Rights Groups in Your State

  • Enter “animal rights” “your state” in your favorite search engine.
  • The American Veterinary Medical Association lists many links and resources relating to animal welfare. See Federal Legislative Issues.
  • Ask your veterinarian, local animal shelter, boarding facility, etc if there’s an animal activist group in your area.
  • Your state veterinary association may list resources. To find your state’s association, visit the State Veterinary Medical Associations page from the American Veterinary Medical Association.
  • The GreenPeople site lists Animal Rights and Animal Rights Organizations groups by state and Canadian provinces.
  • Pet-related monthly newspapers/tabloids are published in many states and large metropolitan areas. You can often find these in veterinarians’ offices, pet food stores, and animal shelters. They may have information on activist groups and/or articles about upcoming legislation in your state.

Once you have the website and contact information for activist groups in your area, help spread the word via the pet section of your local newspaper, your veterinarian’s website, the local library’s website, etc.

Write your congressperson on issues that concern you and/or upcoming legislation.

The VoteSmart website lets you enter your zip code and get a list of your elected officials, both state and national.

Animal Protection Voters is an activist group in New Mexico. Read APV’s Tips for Citizen Lobbyists. This page lists tips for calling and writing elected officials, writing editors, and much more.

Participate in events that showcase animals and/or animal people.

The Colorado Veterinary Medical Association sponsors a program called Colorado’s Animal Heroes. Read about the 2008 Animal Heroes. Categories include service, human-animal bond, hero, youth animal advocate, and human hero.

Animal Legal Defense Fund

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is an excellent resource to get information on animal protection and welfare issues all over the US.

  • The Animal Legal Defense Fund has posted its 2009 “Five Best States to be an Animal Abuser.” Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Dakota are the five best states in the country to be an animal abusers, according to this study. States are grouped into top, middle, or bottom tiers. The best five for animal rights remains unchanged from 2008, with California, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, and Oregon heading the list. Check out this article to see where your state stands. You can link to the full list of how each state ranks plus a listing of each state’s anti-cruelty laws from this article.
  • To stay informed on cases of cruelty in the courts and in the news and how you can help, as well as news from ALDF, visit Cases & Campaigns.
  • Action Alerts lists cases the ALDF is working on. Just reading the summaries of these cases is very disturbing. You can link to the action requested along with contact information. Contacting judges, district attorneys, etc., can make a big difference in whether or not animal abusers are punished for their crimes. From this page you can also sign up to receive email action alerts on how you can help ALDF’s efforts.
  • The Animal Bill of Rights page describes the petition that ALDF is working on concerning animal rights. You can sign this petition online to send a message to our legislators in Congress that Americans want legal protection for animals.
  • Check out Tips for Writing to Law Enforcement to make your letter to law enforcement officials more effective.
  • The ALDF Resources page list a variety of resources relating to animal law, including how to find an attorney to help you with your animal-related issues, what to do when you believe a vet has harmed or killed your companion, animal law information for the general public and much more.
  • Support ALDF with monetary donations from this page.

Animal Legal and Historical Center

Want to find laws relating to animals in your state? Visit the Animal Legal and Historical Center from Michigan State University College of Law.

Click your state on the Available Maps of State Laws and read laws relating to animal cruelty, animal fighting, assistance animal laws, veterinary practice, and more.

This site is growing and requests tax-deductible donations to help them continue adding to this collection.

Does Your State Sponsor Protection for Animals?

Do you know if your state is animal friendly? There are many differences from state to state on animal-related laws. Colorado actively works on legislation, services, and support to protect animals. You can get ideas on improving animal laws in your state by reading what other states are doing.

For example, it’s now a law in Colorado that veterinarians report animal cruelty. The Colorado Veterinary Medical Association’s website has a page called Animal Cruelty which explains the law and background information on this law.

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