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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What to do #2: Contact state groups

If you have state federations or clubs for various animals, contact them. For example, many states have federations of dog clubs. These "clubs of clubs" have delegates from member groups. In theory, information provided through the federation will be passed from the delegates to every club member in the state. In some of them, this plan works flawlessly. Unfortunately, state federations range from highly effective to dead both ways from the neck and you won't know what you've got until you try. In any case, don't depend on the federation or national organizations to spread the word. Contact as many clubs and individual members as you can.

The AKC website has a list of state federations. You can also ask kennel club members about the best way to contact the most dog owners. There are, of course, cat breeders' associations as well, and don't overlook general pet owners' groups. The more state groups you can reach, the fewer individual contacts you'll have to make.

Look for state clubs of other kinds: sighthound or racing groups, hunting dog, training clubs, agility, herding, lure coursing, field trial, tracking, and earth dog clubs. For just about any activity, you'll find a state or regional club. Address your local kennel club about the proposed legislation and give members a few minutes to write down the names and contact information for any other clubs they belong to. Remember, we're all in this together, so recruit anyone you can.

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