Improving the Lives of Animals

    Ten Easy Ways To Help:

  • Report Abuse When You See It
  • Abused and neglected animals need YOU to stand up for them! And Bloomington advocates for animal well-being have the law on our side. In December, 2005, for example, the city passed an ordinance prohibiting prolonged tethering of an animal. So if you're sick of seeing your neighbor's dog living unhappily ever after at the end of a chain, speak up! Here is the Animal Care chapter of Bloomington's municipal code.

  • Adopt an Animal in Need
  • Each year, an unspeakable number of perfectly healthy, happy animals are euthanized because shelters and rescue groups can't accommodate the overwhelming surplus of homeless and unwanted pets. If you have the time, room, and resources to care for an animal companion, make your local shelter your first stop. When choosing a furry, feathered, or scaly pal, take time and do your homework to make sure you've found your perfect match - and consider adopting an adult animal. Puppies and kittens are undeniably adorable, but a unique and rewarding bond develops when you adopt an adult dog or cat who's been abandoned in the past. Far from being "damaged goods," adult animals are happy, resilient, and so appreciative of a loving home! (Bonus - they've often had some training!) Is your heart set on a specific breed or species? Shelters and rescue groups take in all kinds of animals, from dogs and cats (including purebreds!) to birds, reptiles, and rodents, so you're sure to find the companion of your dreams. Petfinder makes it easy by allowing you to search over 200,000 animal profiles posted by shelters and rescue groups.

  • Foster an Animal in Your Home
  • If you know you're ready to make a short term commitment to an animal but are uncertain about what your long-term future holds, why not open your home and heart to a foster animal? Of course, fostering is a serious responsibility requiring the same daily level of care as that of a permanent guardian (and more if you take in a sick animal or litter). However, it is a wonderful opportunity for those who can't make a lifelong committment to make a significant impact in the life of an animal in transition. Get in touch with us if you're interested in finding an opportunity to foster a local animal.

  • Volunteer for Animals Locally
  • Have a few free hours? Your local shelter, rescue group, or wildlife organization would be thrilled to have some extra assistance. There are countless ways to help out, so get in touch with one of these organizations whenever you have some free time! We have listed some organizations with whom you can volunteer in the Bloomington area.

  • Spay or Neuter Your Pet
  • We cannot overstate the impact this simple procedure can have on the well being of animals - as well as our economy! Shelters are forced to euthanize approximately 5 million dogs and cats annually - AND it costs taxpayers nearly $2 billion dollars a year to capture, kill, and dispose of unwanted animals. Prevention is our best option. Plus, you'll reap the benefits of a more well-adjusted animal who isn't being driven to distraction by hormones! Sterilization helps curb marking, aggression, and other unwanted behaviors that can frustrate both you and your pet. For more information about affordable ways to spay/neuter your pet in Bloomington, please visit our partners at Pets Alive.

  • Be a Good Animal Companion
  • Being a good companion to your pets means more than just providing food, shelter, and veterinary care. When making the decision to welcome an animal into your home, make sure you're prepared to meet the emotional and physical needs of that particular animal. Socializing and exercising your dog at the local dog park, making time to play with your cat every day, and ensuring that your lifestyle and finances can support a lifelong bond with your pet are essential components of being a good companion.

  • Speak Out
  • Passion and positivity are irresistible. The best way to encourage others to join our cause is by sharing our vision and excitement about upcoming projects. In class, at family gatherings, in political settings, at parties - ANY time is a good time to stand up and be bold in expressing our appreciation for animals. RAW is a fun, innovative organization brimming with optimism and enthusiasm. So let's get the word out! Moreover, conviction, outspokenness, and energy are admirable, effective, and contagious. Together, we can make activism viable and sexy again by giving it a new-attitude makeover.
    Dispel the Myths

    The myths about animal advocacy are very dangerous. The best resource we have to combat them is the power of all people concerned about animal well-being. The problem is that many people are turned off to our cause by the existing myths and stereotypes surrounding animal activism. Getting a person to see past these myths is quite possibly the most effective thing you can do as an activist. If you can empower just one person to help in the same ways you do, you've accomplished twice as much as you ever would on your own.

  • Be a Compassionate Consumer
  • Buy animal-friendly clothing, cosmetics, and household products whenever possible. There are countless alternatives to wool, angora, fur, and other materials derived (often cruelly) from animals. For personal and household products manufactured without animal testing and/or ingredients, see PETA's Caring Consumer website and's Natural Store. Bonus: many animal-friendly products are also organic, non-toxic, and biodegradable - better for animals, consumers, and the environment!

  • ...And Consume with Compassion
  • Industrialized farming impacts humans, animals, and the environment in complex and countless ways, making it difficult to avoid having a negative impact when purchasing food - even fruits and vegetables. While this situation seems daunting, seemingly minor choices can make a major difference. We respect vegans and vegetarians - many RAW members have chosen to help animals in this way - but we think it's crucial for people to know that making a difference doesn't have to mean changing your lifestyle completely or all at once. The increasing popularity of organic and free-range meat and dairy products has provided an ethical (and healthy) alternative for many people who care about animal well-being. Incorporating these and/or some animal-product substitutes into your diet makes a difference in the lives of animals, so don't fall victim to the myth that an animal-friendly diet has to be all-or-nothing! Buying local products from trusted sources (and encouraging restaurant owners to do the same) is another way to prevent exploitative practices and support your local economy.