For most people, animal cruelty is one of the most indefensible crimes they can imagine. That's why so many people are more than willing to donate their time and money to their local humane society and animal rescue advocates in an attempt to protect vulnerable creatures. In most big cities, there are multiple organizations working to prevent animal cruelty and advocate for legal reforms that reduce the number of animals that are used in laboratory testing. Volunteering at a humane society, rescue society or shelter can be a very rewarding experience. And most people are pretty surprised when they find out how enjoyable volunteering to work with animals can be. If you're considering volunteering with one of these organizations, here are some terms you should be familiar with.
Political Advocacy - Hot button issues like wearing fur and animal testing and experimentation are all heavily regulated. Many animal lovers find that can impact real change by working with elected officials to outlaw practices they feel abuse animals and prevent new abuses from becoming widespread.
Rescue Societies - Just about every breed of animal you can think of is served by a rescue group. These groups usually place abused and neglected animals with foster families to help them learn to live with, and trust humans again.
Wildlife Management - This is the kind of work that's usually done by government and law enforcement agencies. It most often involves protecting animals in the wild and ensuring that hunters are not abusing the land or animals that live on it.
Humane societies represent and protect the rights of those who cannot stand up for themselves, including animals and children. Usually, each state or community has a humane society acting as advocates for the underprivileged. Through campaigns, volunteering, and foundations, humane societies fight for laws that help protect others. They may be opposed to animal testing and experimentation, animal cruelty, child abuse, or use of fur in clothing. They may also fight for the protection of wildlife, adoption of children, pet shelter funding, or other issues.
Members of a humane society aim to prevent things, like animal and child cruelty, by lobbying for laws. They form fundraisers and foundations to raise money for awareness and programs. Sometimes, they get federal or state funding through grants. Many humane societies feature websites that outline their causes. They primarily focus on wildlife management, pet protection, factory farming, rescue efforts, child welfare and migration, and child abuse and neglect prevention.
Some humane societies may focus on one aspect, such as wildlife protection, while others act as advocates for a variety of causes, including animals and children. Humane societies in the United States have provided the country's animals and children with advocacy programs and protection initiatives. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, founded in 1866, was the first organization of its kind in this country. Clearly, many more programs have come into existence to protect certain sub segments of the population.
Those looking to volunteer can contact local humane society advocates in their community. These can be found by searching online, in the phone book, or by visiting your local library, town hall, or rescue pet shelters.