October 1st 2007 4:03 am
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1. Help reduce animal overpopulation
* Adopt your next new friend from an animal shelter or rescue group instead of buying from a breeder or pet store.
* Make sure your new friend is spayed or neutered.
* Research different breeds to ensure you find one that's right for you and your family.
2. Report animal cruelty
* Learn how to recognize signs of abuse or neglect, such as extremely thin animals, wounds on the body, and animals who cower in fear when approached by their owners.
* Report abuse immediately to your local humane society, animal control or law enforcement agency.
* Educate yourself and others about how to properly train and care for companion animals.
* Never participate in animal fighting, including dogfighting, cockfighting, or hog-dog fighting. This is a particularly insidious form of animal cruelty that should be reported to authorities immediately.
3. Live in harmony with your wild neighbors
* Prevent conflicts with wildlife before they occur by doing such things as securing garbage cans, feeding companion animals indoors, blocking holes and filling cracks in your home.
* Control nuisance animals humanely with motion activated sprinklers, acoustical alarms, or visual deterrents (e.g. scarecrows, reflectors).
* If you require outside assistance, make sure your ‘Animal Problem Control Officer' does not use inhumane methods like poisoning, drowning, or shooting.
* Keep your cat inside. They are predatory by nature and are capable of killing numerous wild species.
* If you find an orphaned or injured animal, contact your local wildlife rehabilitator, police department, or animal control officer. Never approach or try to handle a wild animal.
* Create a haven for wildlife in your backyard by planting trees or shrubs, providing a water source and limiting your use of toxic pesticides.
4. Make more humane food choices
* Choose only free range or organic meat, milk and eggs, or products certified as coming from humanely raised animals. U.S. humane food certification programs include “Certified Humane,” “Free Farmed,” and “Animal Welfare Approved.”
* Beware of misleading labels such as “natural,” which have no meaning in terms of animal welfare and may be placed on products from animals raised on factory farms.
* Ask your local markets and restaurants to offer more free-range, organic, and humane certified foods.
* Make healthy food choices by adding more fruits and veggies to your diet and reducing your consumption of meat.
5. Use the power of the purse
* Shop with compassion. Choose only products that have not been tested on animals. Look for the Leaping Bunny Logo – the highest level of assurance that a company is cruelty-free.
* Be wary of products claiming to be “cruelty-free” or “not tested on animals.” Some companies state that they do not test on animals, when in fact they merely contract someone else to do the testing.
* Write or call companies to let them know you will not be purchasing their products until they stop testing on animals.
* Inform others. Most people aren't aware that many household products depend on animal suffering.
6. Live light on the land
* Reduce. Don't use "throw-away" products like paper plates, napkins, and plastic silverware.
* Reuse. Take your own bags to stores to carry home your groceries and shopping.
* Recycle. Rinse all recyclable glass and plastic containers to remove food remnants that might attract animals and remember to cut apart each ring in plastic six-pack carriers before you discard them.
7. Be a compassionate traveler
* The number one way travelers can protect animals is through their pocketbooks. Support animal-friendly services and avoid those that exploit animals.
* Don't accept culture as a justification for cruelty; boycott bullfights and festivals using animals.
* Never pose for a photo with a wild animal.
* Never use animal rides or transport that could cause animal suffering.
* Never buy wildlife souvenirs or products that may have endangered or caused suffering to animals, such as ivory, tortoiseshell, fur, and horns.
8. Avoid establishments that keep wild animals in captivity
* Don't visit marine parks, zoos, or other establishments that hold wild animals in captivity.
* If you want to observe these magnificent animals, visit places that allow people to view animals in natural and humane conditions (national parks, nature reserves, animal sanctuaries, rehabilitation centers).
* Try wild dolphin or whale watching. These eco-friendly excursions enable tourists to become immersed in the natural world of marine mammals without threatening the health and welfare of wild species.
9. Be prepared for disaster
* Be prepared! Take the time to make a plan and assemble an emergency kit for you and your companion animals.
* Evacuate early, if you can, before a mandatory evacuation order is issued.
* Take your companion animals with you. They can easily be lost, injured, or killed if they are left behind to fend for themselves.
10. Support international recognition of the importance of animal welfare
Secure a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare at the United Nations, which would:
* Recognize animals as sentient beings, capable of suffering and experiencing pain.
* Recognize that animal welfare is an issue of importance as a part of the social development of nations.
* Act as a catalyst for better animal welfare provisions worldwide.
* You can help by signing the petition! Reaching our goal of 10 million signatures worldwide will raise public and government awareness about animals and the importance of considering their welfare