Here’s a list of 50 ways to improve the lives of animals today. These are simple actions you can take to make a positive impact on animals’ lives and help them in important and effective ways.
- Volunteer at your local city/county animal shelter or rescue group in your community.
- Foster a Cat or Dog until they get adopted. Contact your animal shelter or local rescue group. They all need fosters and you will save an animal’s life each time you foster!
- Microchip Your Pet! Microchips are inexpensive and will dramatically increase the chance that your pet will be found if they are lost or there is a disaster. Increase the chance you will be reunited with them.
- Adopt Don’t Shop! Adopt a rescue cat or dog from your local animal shelter or rescue group—and you will be saving two lives—the life of the dog or cat you adopt and the space that opens up for another dog or cat in the shelter or rescue group. Breeders add more pets into a system where 8 million individual cats and dogs are euthanized every year in U.S. shelters.
- Get Kids Involved With Animals. Visit animal sanctuaries, animal rescue groups on adoption days, and join activities that support the wellbeing of animals in your community.
- Sponsor KIND News. You can sponsor giving KIND News to elementary schools across the nation that teaches young children humane education.
- Prepare a Disaster Kit for your pets. Emergencies can come suddenly and you want to be prepared. Keep emergency pet supplies, pet food (wet and dry), pet first-aid kit, extra medications, photocopies of medical records, photos of your pets, bottled water, and an emergency kit in your home, and in case of evacuation. More about how to prepare for an emergency.
- Arrange a Safe Haven. Make arrangements in the event of an evacuation by identifying evacuation locations for your pets. Have a list of vets ready that offer boarding kennels, identify hotels outside your area that accept pets, and ask friends and family outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pets. Be ready!
- Set Up a Pet Trust. Have a plan in place for if and when you become incapacitated or die. A living trust, pet trust, or pet protection agreement (PPA) can protect your pet. Set one up today and designate a caregiver to take your pet from your home if you suddenly become incapacitated. Many pets die in owner’s homes or are given to animal shelters and are euthanized.
- Spay & Neuter Your Pets! Domestic dogs and cats are routinely euthanized in animal shelters across the U.S. at a rate of over 8 million individual animals per year. It’s a tragedy, unnecessary, and a complete waste of an animal’s life. Spaying, neutering and rescuing from shelters—not buying from breeders, will solve the euthanasia rates in our shelters.
- Help Feral Cats in your community! Help the plight of homeless, abandoned and feral cats. Learn to trap-neuter-return (TNR) and volunteer for cat rescue groups who are active in spaying and neutering and feeding these cats. Volunteer to feed feral colonies needed food and water everyday that depend on our humane support.
- Give Monthly. Donate monthly or when you can to animal protection charities that support their welfare and fight cruelty.
- Watch Animal Documentaries. There are many enlightening, informative and powerful animal documentaries available today that provide insight into animals and ways humans are impacting them and their world.
- Go FUR FREE! Buy faux fur. Be sure to check the labels that it is faux – and not raccoon dog fur from China. See more about the fur industry.
- Avoid Buying Leather, Reptile Skin, & Duck / Goose Down. These are all the result of the cruel treatment of animals. Try to buy replacements like artificial leather or pleather, and polyester-filled comforters and jackets.
- Go Bird Watching! Get a pair of binoculars and visit a park or go on a hike to see the diversity of nature and the beautiful birds around you.
- Visit Animal Sanctuaries. Take a tour of a local farm animal sanctuary or animal sanctuary near you. It’s a fun way to learn more and pet the animals!
- Volunteer at an Animal Sanctuary. Take a weekend—or a week and volunteer to help at an animal sanctuary. It will change your life.
- Get Politically Active! Learn about the many animal welfare issues at the state and federal level, and how you can help. This is one of the most effective ways to help animals.
- Vote! Vote for legislators that support improving animal welfare, the humane care and treatment of animals, and fight against animal cruelty. Know how your legislators vote, see the Humane Scorecard.
- Write Your Legislators. Speak up about animal welfare issues that concern you. Write, email and call your state and federal representatives and senators. Be brief but express your concern. It counts and will make a big difference.
- Support Wildlife in Your Yard. Create a wildlife sanctuary in your back and front yard, by choosing native and animal-friendly plants that attract hummingbirds, birds, bees, small wildlife, and insects. Support wildlife and help them coexist with us.
- Hang Bird Feeders. Help bird populations hurt by development, climate change, drought, and habitat destruction, by hanging bird feeders in your backyard. Birds need clean fresh water too. You can add attractive water fountains and bird baths. Keep feeders and baths clean regularly to avoid spreading infections amongst the birds.
- Be a Friend to Wildlife. Don’t think of wildlife in your back or front yard as “trespassers or intruders,” but instead as our wild co-inhabitants. They belong there and were living there well before we came.
- Be Tolerant and Generous. Use only non-lethal means if/when dealing with wildlife that has moved into your house. There are many non-lethal means to encourage them to leave and go back outside! These are kinder and better for them and you.
- Avoid Using Insecticides, Herbicides or Weed Killers. These can be harmful and deadly to birds, wildlife, and domestic animals. Use natural products without any toxins that are equally as effective and much better for the environment.
- Recognize that urban and suburban wildlife deserves their own home. Learn to live WITH the wildlife around you—be their friend not their foe. They need to be accommodated and are challenged and impacted by humans too.
- Put Out Water Bowls in your backyard for wildlife. Protect them from dehydration, drought, and severe and prolonged dry weather. They need our help.
- Support Buying Humane Products & Brands. Be a humane consumer and support a humane economy in shopping and buying decisions. Be a conscientious consumer about the products you buy and the brands you support. Check out this list of cruelty-free companies and products.
- Purchase Cruelty-Free Cosmetics & Household Products. Buy cosmetics and household products that DO NOT test on animals. Many cosmetic and household product brands cruelly test on animals who are intentionally poisoned, blinded and forced to suffer immeasurably. But many products are available today that are not tested on animals. Learn about the Leaping Bunny standard.
- Call the Police. If you see an animal being abused in any way, call your local police and animal control officer immediately. Don’t wait. Take photos if you can for evidence.
- Help Neglected Animals. You can help them by notifying your County or City Animal Control or Shelter and the police, when you see an animal being seriously neglected – chained in a backyard without food and water; in a hot car; in extreme weather without protection; or know people who abandoned their pet and left them behind. Notify authorities and get help.
- Don’t Patronize Entertainment that Uses (and abuses) Animals. Don’t support businesses that use animals for entertainment. They are often confined in unnaturally small spaces, trained using abusive practices, forced to do what they don’t want to do, transported long distances, and have been forcibly removed from their natural environment.
- SIGN! Commit to Compassionate Living and sign the Evangelical Statement on Responsible Care for Animals. Join the new campaign by Christian leaders for Christians to take more responsibility to speak out against animal injustice, cruelty and abuse.
- Reduce or Eliminate Meat. Try to reduce your meat consumption. It’s one of the biggest things you can do to help animals. Over 99% of the animals raised for meat are raised in inhumane factory farms that impose extremely cruel conditions on the animals that causes them deep suffering and misery.
- Reduce or Eliminate Dairy. Try to reduce your consumption of dairy. Dairy cows suffer some of the worst cruelty of all—from forcible over-production of milk, constant pregnancies, having every baby calf taken away from them at birth, they acquire painful diseases and conditions due to the production of too much milk that is entirely unnatural for their bodies, and their calves are slaughtered at birth, or forced into inhumane veal production. Choose plant-based milks and cheeses.
- Reduce or Eliminate Eggs. Egg-laying hens experience some of the worst, most cruel conditions of all as well, from force molting by starvation to produce more eggs, to being given hormones and drugs to increase egg laying 5 times what is normal for their bodies, weakening their bodies, and the chronic and painful diseases that result.
- Become Conscious of ways animals are used and abused today. Become more aware and active against any business or institution that forces animals to behave in ways that are unnatural, where they are made to suffer, or are abused – such as rodeos, dolphinariums, roadside zoos, circuses, some amusement parks like Six Flags, etc. Avoid patronizing these and let them know that you are opposed to their treatment of animals for profit or entertainment.
- Sign Up For Email Alerts. Sign up for email alerts and learn about animal issues from leading animal welfare groups or media such as PETA, HSUS, Mercy for Animals, World Animal Protection, The DoDo, PCRM, Animal Welfare Institute, CARE2, Humane Society International or any of the many other organizations that positively support animals.
- Sign the Petitions. Sign and add your name to the animal protection petitions that circulate.
- Celebrate Thanksgiving Without a Turkey! That’s right. Celebrate the day with all the other trappings. You can honor the purpose and meaning of the day by giving thanks, without killing a turkey for it.
- Distribute Animal Welfare Literature. Join animal welfare groups and help them educate the public about animal cruelty by distributing flyers and brochures at events, stores, and shopping centers.
- Donate Your Used Car to an animal welfare organization.
- Donate Through a Trust, Living Trust or Will to an animal welfare organization.
- Take Classes. You can learn through a wide variety of online workshops, webinars, certificate programs, and credentialed programs given by the Humane Society Academy, part of the Humane Society of the U.S.
- Help in Disasters. Get trained by your local county CART (County Animal Response Team) or national DART training programs to help animals in disasters.
- Teach Kids in Schools to learn about how to care for animals, and the importance of recognizing abuse, neglect or cruelty. Help teach kids humane education.
- Give Gifts that support organizations trying to help animal protection and welfare, such as the ASPCA, Humane Society of the U.S., and World Animal Protection.
- Don’t Do Harm to Animals. Yes, that seems obvious. Be part of the SOLUTION not the problem—by making a positive impact to individual and collective animals’ lives—whether it’s wildlife or domestic animals, by not harming or hurting them in any way.
- Spread the Word! Ask friends and family to join you in your efforts to protect animals. Share and repost on social media – and spread the word to help animals!
See our cruelty-free shopping guide.
Read how to be a more humane consumer.
See some simple and easy ways to advocate for animals!
Photo courtesy of Pixabay, www.pixabay.com.