Top Ten Easy Ways to Help Animals

    1. Have a veggie-burger for lunch. It’s good for you, and the animals! More animals are abused and killed for meat production than in all other ways combined.
    2. Buy cloth shoes and handbags—they’re kinder, and more weather resistant too!
    3. Don’t buy garments with fur trim. Buying fur trim supports the fur industry. Trim accounts for a significant portion of fur sales.
    4. Buy products that are not tested on animals. See the Shopping Guide at
    5. Don’t go to circuses that use animals. Animals in circuses lead a sad existence of travel, confinement, and performance driven by the whip and the bullhook. Enjoy circuses that do not use animals, such as the dazzling and artful Cirque du Soleil. Read more about circuses
    6. Deal with “pests” humanely. There are many humane and practical solutions for wildlife conflicts. For instance, ammonia-soaked rags, or a loud radio, will drive a skunk out from under your porch. Read more at MSPCA’s Living With Wildlife
    7. Let part of your yard “go wild.” With more natural habitat disappearing every day, animals have fewer and fewer places to live. A section of your yard with trees, bushes, and undergrowth can be a sanctuary to all kinds of animals. By providing water and cultivating native plants, you’ll attract many wild friends.
    8. Be careful with your trash:
      • Cut up plastic six-pack rings before throwing them away. Animals can become ensnared in them.
      • Crush cans so animals can’t get inside them.
      • Wrap razor blades in tape before discarding. Put broken glass in a box or a tough plastic bag.
      • Use garbage cans with latching lids to keep animals out.
      • Don’t leave string lying around, either inside or outside. Small animals can get tangled in it, while cats often swallow it. Kite string in trees can ensnare birds.
      • Don’t dispose of uncooked grains by tossing them out for the birds. Grains such as rice will expand in a bird’s stomach, often causing death.
    9. Don’t buy from pet stores or breeders. Can the small and exotic animals sold in pet stores live happy lives in cages? It seems unlikely. Parrots — whose wild natures and constant need for social interaction can make them neurotic in captivity — often end up in shelters due to how difficult it is to care for them. All too often, small but sociable animals — rabbits, mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, hedge hogs, and many others — spend their entire lives alone in tiny cages. Mice and other small rodents are often sold as food for “pet” snakes. Puppies sold in pet stores are often from “puppy mills,” where dogs, raised only for profit, are mistreated and neglected. Even “good” breeders contribute to the overpopulation of animals, leading to millions of deaths per year. If you are looking for a companion animal, go to an animal shelter—see PetFinder.comSpay and neuter your companion animals, and educate others to do so as well.
    10. Write a letter or make a phone call. Respond to news stories with a letter to the editor. Use the toll-free numbers provided by companies that test on animals. Sign up for e-mail alerts such as HSUS’ HUMANElines (sign up on HSUS’ homepage) or the Fund for Animals’ Action Center.