Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Caution: Animal Welfare Organizations May Not Be What They Seem

Animal lovers always want to help animals. Whether we take in strays off the street and become their forever family, volunteer at our local shelters and rescues or donate to animal causes, we are constantly looking for ways to improve the lives of animals. This is wonderful, if we are informed about what we are doing and exactly who we are helping. Not all animal welfare organizations are truly looking improving the lives of animals. Here are a few tips that will help you be better informed about animal welfare organizations:
  • Know the Subtle Differences - Know the differences in animal rights organizations and animal welfare organizations. Many animal rights organizations use the majority of the funds they receive for lobbyists to pass or stop laws concerning animal rights. Is this how you want your money spent? Or, would you prefer the money be used to help fund shelters, spay/neuter programs and the like? If your preference is the latter, you would be served to donate to an animal welfare organization.
  • Watch What The Organization Does - Actions speak louder than words. Stay up-to-date on what the organization is doing. Are they active in their local community or do they concentrate on international animal rights/animal welfare issues? Is the organization putting animals before humans when it comes to specific issues such as pet ownership? Do they have educational programs? If so, who and what are these educational programs teaching?
  • Understand Your Views - Have a clear understanding of what you believe and what you stand for when it comes to animal rights and animal welfare. Only help those organizations that have similar views. Check and double check the stance the organization takes on the issues you feel strongly about. Know which issues you are willing to compromise and those you are not.
The best way to truly know if you are helping improve the lives of animals to do your own research. Online inquiries, personal telephone calls and visits work well. Read the organization's printed material as well as their laws and bylaws. You do not want to be working to help an organization whose intentions do not match yours.

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