Defending the Freedom to Own Pets

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The Future of Dogs in an Animal Rights America

by Walt Hutchens

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Communicating with Legislators By Telephone

  • Give your name and say, "I'm calling to oppose [bill number]."
  • Note the name of whomever you talk to.
  • State that you are a constituent if you are. If not, say why you are calling Senator XXXX. (Because he is a member of the Agriculture Committee, because he is sponsor or co-sponsor of the bill, or whatever).
  • Be brief.
  • Focus on one issue at a time. Concentrate on one or two important facts.
  • State your message. Say exactly what you want the senator to do.
  • Tell how the bill personally affects you. Give examples -- they're much more memorable than statistics.
  • Don't get into party politics or philosphy. You are not going to change a legislator's basic beliefs. Just state the practical effects of the legislation.
  • Offer to provide materials about the bill and how it will affect you. If they do ask to see them, staffers will analyze the materials.
  • Regardless of how your call seems to be received, never lose your temper and never be sarcastic. Emotionalism is seen as very unprofessional.
  • Always say "Thank you" and ask if you can get a written response to your call.

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