Do you want to make a difference in your community for animals? If so, maybe it is time to consider becoming an animal advocate.
What is an Animal Advocate?
An animal advocate is someone who believes in the right of animals to exist without fear of abuse, exploitation or extermination. Animal advocates work hard and sometimes fight so that this right is upheld. Animal advocates can be individuals, or people who volunteer or work for an animal welfare organization.
How to Become an Animal Advocate
1. Inform yourself. The first step to becoming an animal advocate is to get informed. Research animal welfare issues that affect the area you live in and choose one or two to support. These issues may include overpopulation, sterilization, feral cats, dog fighting, neglect and abuse or access to veterinary care. In addition, be sure to investigate the state and federal laws that affect the issues you are most interested in supporting. The Humane Society offers abundant information on animal welfare legislation.
2. Get to know local organizations. Next, get to know any local organizations that work towards the cause of your choice. Reach out to such organizations. Call or email them and if possible visit their headquarters. Find out how they work, what kind of support they need and how you can get involved.
3. Volunteer. One of the best ways to get to know the needs of your community is to do some hands on work at your local animal shelter or humane society. Sign up as a volunteer. Not only will you gain a better understanding of the issues and challenges you want to support, you'll gain valuable experience that could help you become a paid advocate later on.
4. Organize fundraisers. You can help raise funds for your cause by organizing a fundraiser. It could be as simple as a community bake sale or you could organize something more complex, such as a walk-a-thon.
5. Spread the word. There are hundreds of ways to spread the word about your cause. You can post updates on your social media pages or create a dedicated social media account or blog to keep your community up to date. You can also volunteer to speak at community events, schools or libraries. Keeping literature related to your cause is another way to help spread the word and inform others about what they can do to help.
These five steps will put you well on your way to becoming a community animal advocate! Let's do all we can to make sure all of our animal friends are allowed to live long, happy lives.