Thank you for wanting to take a role in improving the lives of animals. Active involvement by concerned individuals like you is important in the successful passage of legislation to better protect animals.
One of the ways you can get involved with animal welfare and be a part of the effort to prevent cruelty is by becoming a member of the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade.
The ASPCA Advocacy Brigade is composed of animal lovers who have opted to receive legislative email alerts from the ASPCA. As of 2012, approximately 2 million Americans are members of the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade!
As a member of the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, you will be informed about animal-related legislation pending in your state and in Congress. You will then have the option to take action by contacting your representatives or other key decision-makers. We’ll provide a customizable letter or, in some cases, phone numbers. Receiving these advocacy alerts and participating in our online actions is always free of charge.
Sign up here: www.aspca.org/joinbrigade
Encourage your family and friends to help pass important animal welfare legislation by becoming members of the Advocacy Brigade, too.
Looking to do more? Here are some other ways to help animals and raise awareness of animal welfare and anti-cruelty issues in your community:
- VOTE. Politics is not a spectator sport—so at election time, do your homework and find out where the candidates stand on animal issues. This is particularly important when it comes to your town, city or municipal elections. Attend candidates’ nights when you can, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You might find that they have no position on animal welfare at all—which could present you with a good opportunity to raise a relevant issue or talk to either the candidate or the candidate’s staff about your concerns. Whether you ask a question in a public forum or privately, be factual and polite, and offer ways for the legislator or new candidate to find out more about the topic.
Register to vote.
- Write to, call, or meet with your elected officials to let them know that animal issues are important to their constituents.
- Join a local voting bloc for animals or start one of your own. Voting blocs can determine the outcomes of elections, particularly municipal elections, which tend to have low voter turnout. Get your friends to become members of your group and network with other humane organizations so you can exchange information and learn from each other.
- When you receive an action alert as a member of the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, forward it to all of your associates who also are eligible to act on it—if it’s a state alert, send it to all your in-state friends and coworkers; if it’s a local district alert, send it to everyone in your neighborhood, etc. Even if they choose not to take action, at least they will have been made aware of the issue, planting a seed that could blossom into greater interest later on.
- Volunteer at your local shelter. Socializers, groomers and walkers are often allowed and badly needed at animal shelters—as a bonus, you’re likely to meet lots of like-minded animal lovers there, making it a great activity for networking. Spending time at a shelter will give you a better understanding of how animal control works in your community. Talk to the head of the shelter and other staff about their needs and concerns and see if you can be helpful politically. You can search the ASPCA’s online Shelter Database to find shelters near you.
- Become an ASPCA Ambassador. Through our highly customizable grassroots fundraising program, you can plan events, small or large, that best utilize your skills and interests to raise funds for the ASPCA and raise awareness of our mission in your community. Best of all, the Ambassadors program will help arm you with the tools and materials you need to make your fundraiser for animals a success.
- Connect with the ASPCA on social networks like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. This simple action will help expose the ASPCA and our mission to your other friends, and their friends, and their friends, and so on! Plus, these networks are a great way for you to give us instant feedback, and we can respond back to you just as quickly. Learn more here.
- Distribute information leaflets free of charge at your school or at community events. (Before you do so, be sure you know the school’s or community center’s policy on giving out brochures and information.) Most of the pet care, anti-cruelty, and legislative issue background pages on ASPCA.org contain a “printer-friendly” button that allows you to print content directly from our website. Don’t forget to tell folks about the Advocacy Brigade!
- Be a responsible pet owner and encourage others to do the same. And if you spot an animal being neglected or cruelly treated, report it to your local animal protection agency and follow up to make sure something was done about it. Read our Reporting Cruelty FAQ for more information.
- Think about how your choices affect animals. The more you learn about animal welfare, the more you discover that the everyday choices you make, from the foods you eat and the clothes you wear to the entertainment you support, can and do affect animals. Become informed and share what you know with others.
- Got a budding animal activist in your home? To inspire kids and teenagers, show them our website created just for them, ASPCAKids.