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How to Become an Animal Advocate and Help Keep Pets Safe and Healthy

Posted by SusanStokes on October 15, 2018

When it comes to pet health and welfare, many animals are lucky enough to be in good homes, loved as a family member, and well cared for by their pet parents. However, some animals are not so lucky. Thousands of cases of animal cruelty are reported each year while it is estimated that thousands of cases go unreported.

According to the American Veterinarian Medical Association, 36.5% of households own dogs and 30% own cats. An estimated 40,000 dogs are subject to dog-fighting each year. Approximately 5 to 7 million animals are euthanized annually nationwide. One-third of cats are strays. Animal advocates fight for the rights of animals to prevent suffering and the right to not be viewed as property, entertainment, or test subjects. 

dog credit Guardians of Rescue.jpg Credit Guardians of Rescue

“People speaking up for animal rights can make a huge difference in the welfare of pets,” said Robert Misseri, president of Guardians of Rescue (GOR), an organization dedicated to helping animals in need. “Animal abuse and neglect can potentially be diminished if people and pet owners actively participate in promoting animal rights. Don’t be silent. We become as guilty as the people abusing animals if we stay silent."

People can positively affect the treatment of animals through legal means by being educated and supporting animal rescue organizations. Here are five things that it takes to be an animal advocate:

  1. Be compassionate and empathetic: Animals, big and small, need legal protection to prevent animal cruelty and abuse.
  1. Be informed: Keep updated on new laws and how one can work with legislators to lobby for animal rights.
  1. Be aware: Understand how to report animal cruelty correctly, be aware of neighborhood watch groups and organizations to participate and volunteer.
  1. Be active: Volunteer at local animal shelters and organizations, promote spaying and neutering, participate in grassroots lobbying, follow local laws and groups that try to make it better for all animals, share your thoughts about animal welfare through social networking, create an active social media page, i.e. Facebook group.
  1. Support: Adopt, volunteer and donate to local shelters, animal rights programs and animal organizations.

“Another suggestion is to get involved with local rescue groups who advocate against puppy mills and puppy stores in your area.” Says Dori Scofield, vice president of Guardians of Rescue.

Guardians of Rescue is located in Smithtown, New York. They are a non-profit organization who provide aid to animals in distress, including facilitating foster programs, rehabilitation, assisting other rescue groups, and providing support to families, both military and not, who need assistance due to economic factors. The group relies on donations to help fund their missions.  

We hope this helps give you some idea of how to proceed when you want to help animals.

Susan, Taurus and Gemini


First published in National General Pets