They may be too young to vote, but children can still make big impressions on legislators and be voices for animals! With new legislative sessions gearing up in D.C. and in state capitols across the nation, there are plenty of ways you can engage and encourage kids who are interested in government and animal advocacy. Check out these fun and easy tips for helping the little animal lovers in your life make a big difference for our furry friends:
Visit your legislators in their district offices. A great way to help children get familiar with the legislative process is by taking them to meet your lawmakers in person. You can find out here who represents your family in Congress and in your state legislature. Then, schedule meetings to speak with them (or members of their staff) about an animal issue important to your child, whether it’s puppy mills or farm-animal welfare.
Attend an ASPCA “Voices for Animals Day.” Bring your kids to one of our events at your state capitol or meet us online for one of our citizen advocacy training sessions. Not only will your child get an up-close look at how laws are made, but you’ll get to meet other parent advocates and learn tips on how to lobby your legislators for stronger animal welfare laws. Plus, you may even get to hang out with some adorable, adoptable cats and dogs! Make sure you’re signed up to receive our advocacy emails to learn when we’re coming to your area.
Join a campaign in your community. Many campaigns can benefit from all kinds of volunteer help. If there’s an important animal welfare issue going on in your neighborhood, spend a couple of hours with your child handing out flyers, knocking on doors or manning a booth for the cause in your community.
Be an e-advocate. Animal welfare bills need your support all year long. Have your child write a personal email to your member of Congress or use their social media account to ask your state senator to take action on a specific bill. Don’t know where to start? We created an informative, colorful, one-page guide on using your computer or mobile device to fight for strong, animal-friendly laws.
Cold, blustery winter weather isn’t always fun for your kids and pets, but we’ve come up with one way to make the frigid temperatures easier to bear: a fun photo contest! Break out that hideous or hilarious pet sweater and have your kids help dress up your pet for the chance to win our “Cute Pet, Ugly Sweater” Photo Contest.
Submit your photo on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #CutePetUglySweater and tell us about your pet’s favorite winter activity—like whether he loves to fetch snowballs or prefers to curl up the couch for TV time. Only one photo will be accepted per person, so submit your best shot!
*Poco, our canine model, is available for adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City! Visit her profile page to learn more about this friendly dog.
The holiday season is in full swing, and whether you’re almost done with your holiday gift shopping or you’re just getting started, we have some ideas for making this season extra-special for your furry friends. In Part Four of our Holiday DIY Series, we’re sharing instructions for making a cozy tent for your feline friends. These tents make quiet and comfortable hideouts for cats during the hustle and bustle of holiday festivities.
One medium T-shirt One 15” x 15” piece of cardboard Two wire hangers Tape Safety pins Wire cutters or pliers
1. Cut the hooks off both hangers and shape them into two arcs.
2. Poke a hole in each corner of your piece of cardboard.
3. Tape the wire arcs together at their centers to form a tent-like frame.
4. Poke the four ends of the hanger frame down through the four holes in your piece of cardboard. Bend the wire ends under and tape them down.
5. Pull the shirt over the tent frame and position it so the neck hole is in the front middle and the bottom of the shirt is trailing behind the tent frame.
6. Flip the whole thing up so the bottom is facing you and the hole is pointing upwards.
7. Fold up the excess from the bottom of the shirt and tighten it up so the neck hole is taut and safety pin the bottom in place. Then pull the sleeves tight and safety pin them in place.
The holiday season is in full swing, and whether you’re almost done with your holiday gift shopping or you’re just getting started, we have some ideas for making this season extra-special for your furry friends. In Part Three of our Holiday DIY Series, we’re sharing an easy-to-make dog toy from BarkPost. Grab a few old T-shirts and your kids to help out with this fun project. This toy will keep your dog busy during family festivities, and would be perfect for a game of tug-of-war.
T-Shirt Dog Toy
Two T-shirts Scissors*
Cut 2-3” wide slits at the base of your shirts. After you’ve cut your slits, just rip or cut along the slit to create strips of fabric for the next step.
Gather your t-shirt strips and tie off one end.
Divide your strips into thirds and braid them together.
Once you’ve braided down to the other end, tie up the bottom and cut any straggling t-shirt strips.
I adopted my service puppy in training, Finnegan, from the Marshall County Humane Society in Indiana at 10 weeks old. I have Spina Bifida, and I'm training him myself. He is a great help to me, and when he gets a bit older, he's going to help me do pet therapy at our local nursing home. Finn has learned to open and close doors, take my jackets off, pick up various items, pay at the stores and many other commands. Finnegan is so smart that he was sitting and laying down on command within 15 minutes after I met him. Finnegan is 15 months old now, and I don't know what I'd do without him.