7 animal advocacy tips for the holidays

Along with buying gifts for loved ones this year, how about tackling a holiday to-do list that helps pets?

Here are a few things anyone can do to give back to pets during this festive season. These actions will not only help save lives, they’ll have a lasting effect even after your holiday-induced food coma has subsided.

Adopt love

If someone on your list is in the market for a new puppy or kitten around the holidays, don’t buy from a pet store or an online source. Instead, head to your local shelter and get an adoption gift certificate. That way, you are saving a life rather than supporting the puppy mill industry, and the recipient can choose the pet of his or her dreams. bestfriends.org/adopt

The gift that keeps on saving (lives)

Give friends and family a gift membership to Best Friends, and they’ll receive Best Friends’ bimonthly magazine, discounts on Sanctuary lodging and other benefits. As you know, each issue of the magazine is filled with feel-good stories and tips on how to help animals. bestfriends.org/giftmembership

Annette the cat in a basket with the Best Friends magazine

Put your lawmakers to work for animals

Sign up to receive our advocacy alerts before legislative sessions resume in January. Best Friends action alerts make it easy to contact your local lawmakers and advocate for better laws to protect your community’s pets. bestfriends.org/action

Peacefully protest for puppies

Sadly, the holidays are a profitable time for the puppy mill industry. How about organizing a peaceful pet store protest to encourage people to adopt, rather than buy, their next pet? bestfriends.org/resources/puppy-mills

People peacefully protesting a pet store

Wear your heart on your sleeve

Share your passion for animals all year long with gear from the Best Friends store. Even a small logo on an item you purchase can start a conversation about saving pets. bestfriends.org/shop

Woman holding a dog and a puppy mill advocacy tote

All are welcome here

Check to make sure your homeowner’s insurance doesn’t discriminate against certain breeds of dogs. If it does, change your insurance company and make sure you tell your agent why you are doing it. bestfriends.org/resources/pit-bull-terriers

Think spring (and kitten season)

Help to humanely reduce the number of community cats in your area by volunteering with your local trap-neuter-return (TNR) program, before the next “kitten season” arrives. Not sure how TNR works? Best Friends’ Community Cat Programs Handbook is loaded with information to help you and your neighbors get started. bestfriends.org/ccphandbook

An ear-tipped brown tabby community cat

Learn more about all the ways you can help animals year-round: bestfriends.org/getinvolved

Photos by Best Friends staff