15 Ways to Help Protect Animals in 2017

Animals are mistreated and abused in many different ways and by many different people. Some are forced to become test subjects for product experiments, whereas others are simply neglected and left to survive alone on the streets. There are a lot of problems facing animals today, but there are just as many ways to protect animals, to aid them, and to change animal treatment for the better. Consider some of these animal conservation tips that will make helping animals just a little bit easier.

1. Connect with HSUS;

The Humane Society of the United States remains one of the key proponents of animal lives and safety. The group offers a variety of different ways to get involved, including:

  • Signing up for email alerts to help with federal and state legislation
  • Visiting the HSUS Twitter and Facebook feeds or the YouTube channel
  • Receiving text message alerts about animal news
  • Subscribing to the weekly podcast and blog of the HSUS president and CEO
  • Attending the Animal Care Expos
  • Attending the annual Taking Action for Animals conference in Washington, D.C.

Try connecting with HSUS in one of these ways, and you will find many opportunities to become more actively involved.

2. Purchase Cruelty-Free Products

Unfortunately, many cosmetics and other household products are tested on animals before they become available for sale to humans. These tests can lead to injury, disfigurement, and even death for those test animals because they have adverse reactions to the products. By purchasing products that are cruelty-free, meaning that they were never tested on animals, you can send the message that you care about the safety of animals, and manufacturers who lose business will have to listen.

3. Participate in Meatless Mondays

You do not have to give up meat every day of the week, but pledging to observe meatless Mondays will make you look and feel better as well as maintaining the lives of more animals. Factory farming is a booming business in which animals such as pigs, cows, and chickens are birthed, raised, and slaughtered all for the specific purpose of feeding humans. You can help many of these animals be rescued and preserved by dedicating at least one day a week to being meat-free.

4. Adopt a Pet from a Local Shelter or Rescue Group

When it comes to getting a new pet, you can go to the mall and purchase a dog that has probably been raised in an inhumane puppy mill with the intention of being sold for a profit. Instead of encouraging these mills, go to a local animal shelter or rescue group to find your next pet. Many of the dogs and cats at these places are well-behaved and adorable, but they need some extra care and encouragement.

5. Purchase Fur-Free Clothing

Using real fur in fashion comes at the expense of the lives of pets and other animals. You can help protect those creatures by purchasing clothing only from designers, brands, and retailers that are completely fur-free. Like animal-tested products, the loss of business from those with pro-animal views will affect the businesses that continue to sell products created by animal cruelty.

6. Encourage Your Workplace to be Pet-Friendly

Not all workplaces are equipped for dogs, cats, or other pets to visit on a daily basis, but some have the capability to allow more human-pet interaction. If this sounds like your workplace, consider bringing this pet-friendly idea to your manager or boss. Many people benefit from the relaxing and pleasing atmosphere of having a pet at work.

7. Find Humane Ways to Deal with Wildlife

It can be problematic to have wildlife invading your backyard. However, there is no reason to treat these animals poorly to get them to leave your yard. Instead, HSUS offers a variety of different tips for how to best rid your home of these animals kindly. For example, you could remove low-hanging garbage, place live traps, and even call your local animal control service for help.

8. Properly ID Your Pets

Many pets are mistreated, neglected, and even euthanized because they are not wearing proper identification. Your pet must wear an ID that lists your name and phone number so that you can be reached if the pet escapes. Encourage your friends and family members to do the same, and this will help prevent abuse and neglect if your pet wanders from home.

9. Contact Your Local Lawmakers

Laws that protect animals are written, passed, and enforced at both the state and federal levels. If you are concerned about the treatment of animals, you need to stay informed about legislation currently in place and now pending in both levels of government. Feel free to contact your local representatives to voice your opinions about these legislative actions.

10. Provide Protection for Your Pets’ Futures

Many people think about having a will written to help protect their children in the case of their untimely deaths. However, you should also consider the futures of your pets. If you are suddenly unable to care for your pets, either because of injury or death, you should have provisions in place for their survival needs.

11. Volunteer with a Local Animal Rescue Team

The Human Society runs many different Animal Rescue Teams across the United States that are dedicated to helping animals that have been involved in natural disasters and that have been subjected to illegal animal cruelty. You can become a member of one of these teams, allowing yourself to be called to all different locations across the country when there are animals that need to be rescued.

12. Attend an HSUS Lobby 101 Training

In addition to its other outreach projects, the HSUS also offers Lobby 101 training sessions in which you will learn how to become an effective citizen lobbyist for animal rights. If you feel that changing laws to benefit animals is your passion, attend one of these training sessions to get better acclimated with what you can and should do to raise legislative awareness.

13. Become a Certified Humane Education Specialist

Trained by the HSUS, the certified humane education specialist program will teach you how to plan readings, activities, and field-tested strategies to encourage children and teens to get involved with animal conservation. This program is geared for classroom teachers, shelter directors, and youth outreach professionals primarily, although others can certainly get involved.

14. Speak Up about Classroom Dissection

Although classroom dissection of frogs, pigs, and many other creatures has long been a staple of science education, you can encourage your local schools to find superior alternatives to this practice. Interactive computer simulations are cost-effective and more humane options that can be used again and again without any harm to real animals.

15. Make a Donation

You can donate your money to charities and groups that help animals specifically, but you can also donate to charities that purposefully do not fund groups or companies that perform animal experiments. Know where your donation is going, and plan accordingly.