What You Can Do for Companion Animals

Be an Educated Consumer

Here are a few ways to help companion animals by being an educated consumer:

Bird Trade

  • Never buy a pet bird from a commercial outlet, even if it has been bred in captivity.
  • If you are capable of taking care of a bird for a lifetime (80–90 years in some cases), adopt one from a shelter or bird rescue.
  • Support bird sanctuaries that are providing birds with good quality homes.
  • Never buy products made from the parts of wild birds.
  • Never release a “pet” bird outside.
  • Patronize humane and environmentally-sound bird-watching ecotours.

Horse Slaughter

  • Do not sell your horse at an auction where killer buyers may operate. Consider donating your horse to a rescue organization or retirement farm; donating, selling or leasing your horse to a therapeutic riding program; or selling the horse privately to an individual with proper references and a legally binding agreement that the horse will never be sold to slaughter. Humane euthanasia by a licensed veterinarian is preferable to cruel transport and slaughter.
  • Stolen horses may frequently end up at the slaughterhouse. Please report any stolen horses to local and state authorities. Likewise, if you witness an abused or abandoned horse, please report the details to your local animal control authority for further investigation. Not only does such abuse and neglect require immediate attention for the obvious welfare reasons, but these horses are also at risk of being sold into slaughter by uncaring owners.
  • Talk about the horrors of horse slaughter and the solution to this cruelty: passage of legislation banning horse slaughter.
  • You can also help our campaign by distributing AWI's horse slaughter brochure to others; extra copies are available from AWI upon request.

Puppy Mills

  • If you’re interested in a companion animal, please visit your local animal shelter or rescue organization. To find shelters in your area, click here.
  • NEVER purchase an animal from a pet store or from an individual who claims to have bred the parents but won’t let you meet them and see where they live (and you’re confident that the home shown to you is where they are actually kept).

Call, Write, and Email

Here are a few actions you can take to inform others about your concern for companion animals:

Bird Trade

  • Only consumer education and better enforcement provisions will reduce the suffering of captive birds. Please contact the Secretary of Agriculture and express your concern for the plight of captive birds, encouraging the USDA to publish regulations that will provide the strongest possible protections for birds in the commercial pet trade.

    Secretary of Agriculture
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC 20250

Horse Slaughter

  • Help raise awareness on the issue of horse slaughter by writing letters to the editors of your local newspapers and any equine publications you read.
  • Finally, contact your elected officials in the US Congress to let them know that you strongly support passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.

Animal Chaining

  • If you are aware of a chained dog in your neighborhood and you are comfortable doing so, please reach out to the owner and try to gently encourage improvements to benefit the animal. However, if the animal is being maintained in violation of state or local law, please document it and contact the appropriate authorities. Learn more here.
  • If you are passionate about this issue, you can help by writing letters to the editors of your local newspapers. For a sample editorial, as well as other ways to educate others on this issue, click here.

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