According to the American Veterinarian Medical Association, 36.5% of households own dogs and 30% own cats. An estimated 40,000 dogs are subject to dog-fighting each year. Thousands of cases of animal cruelty are reported each year with thousands estimated to go unreported. Approximately 5 to 7 million animals are euthanized annually nationwide. One-third of cats are strays. Animal advocates fight for the rights of animals to prevent suffering and the right to not be viewed as property, entertainment, or test subjects.
“People speaking up for animal rights can make a huge difference in the welfare of pets,” explains Robert Misseri, president of Guardians of Rescue, an organization dedicated to helping animals in need. “Animal abuse and neglect can potentially be diminished if people and pet owners actively participate in promoting animal rights. Don’t be silent. We become as guilty as the people abusing animals if we stay silent.”
People can positively affect the treatment of animals through legal means by being educated and supporting animal rescue organizations. Here are five things that it takes to be an animal advocate:
· Be compassionate and empathetic: animals, big and small, need legal protection to prevent animal cruelty and abuse.
· Be informed: keep updated on new laws and how one can work with legislators to lobby for animal rights.
· Be aware: understand how to report animal cruelty correctly, be aware of neighborhood watch groups and organizations to participate and volunteer.
· Be active: volunteer at local animal shelters and organizations, promote spaying and neutering, participate in grassroots lobbying, follow local laws and groups that try to make it better for all animals, share your thoughts about animal welfare through social networking, create an active social media page, i.e. Facebook group.
· Support: adopt, volunteer, donate to local shelters, animal rights programs and animal organizations.
“Get involved with local rescue groups who advocate against puppy mills and puppy stores in your area.” Says Dori Scofield, vice president of Guardians of Rescue.
Guardians of Rescue is a non-profit organization whose mission is helping all animals in need. They provide assistance to animal out on the streets, help to rescue animals, provide medical care, food, shelter, and find foster home placement. To learn more, or to make a donation to support the Guardians of Rescue, log onto www.guardiansofrescue.org.