Humane Tomorrow Watchdog: The Voice for AnimalsYour voice makes a difference
Humane Tomorrow is committed to humane treatment for all animals. To that end, we work to educate, advocate, and assist in active rescue when appropriate. The work we do saving hundreds of dogs and cats each year is important, but the difference that can be made for animals in a single piece of legislation can be even more significant. A single letter, phone call, or visit from YOU can make a difference to thousands of animals. It is not enough to be outraged when laws do not protect animals sufficiently; you have to make your outrage heard…in a polite and professional way, of course…at the local, state, and national levels.
Believe it or not, your elected representatives do listen to you. They are receptive and interested in what their constituents have to say. Because most people do not take the time to contact them, they truly appreciate and listen to those who do. It's often only those who stand to gain financially who expend the effort to contact legislators, and they don't usually have the animals' best interest at heart. That's why it is so important that those of us who care about animals make ourselves heard.
On a state level, Humane Tomorrow has long recognized the importance of our partnership with Texas Humane Legislation Network. Each time we interact with an animal, we are reminded that laws matter.
- When we take in dogs from a puppy mill, we are thankful for THLN's work in passing the Dog or Cat Breeders Act, which calls for minimum care standards for animals in large-scale breeding facilities.
- When we take in a victim of cruelty, we are thankful that if caught, the perpetrator could face felony animal cruelty charges thanks to THLN's work in improving our cruelty statute.
- When we renew our license plates, we are reminded that thanks to THLN, funds from those plates go to help spay and neuter thousands of dogs and cats each year.
- When we see horses in a pasture, we know that they will not die in slaughter plants in Texas, thanks to THLN's continued opposition to horse slaughter.
- And so much more...
We know that as a rescue organization, we can only save one animal at a time…and that is not enough. It is only through partnerships with THLN and national organizations that we can make real, substantial, permanent change to the lives of thousands of animals at a time. Humane Tomorrow's commitment to this idea is so strong that we created a board position, Vice President of Animal Advocacy, to ensure our constant focus on the big picture.
There are thousands of rescue groups in Texas, with hundreds of thousands of supporters. It is our responsibility to educate each of them and encourage them to make their voices heard for animals. Together we are powerful! Please encourage your friends to visit www.thln.org to learn more about its 2015 legislative agenda:
- Humane Tethering Law
- Peace Officer Canine Encounter Training
- Exotic Animal Ownership
- Support other legislation benefitting animals
- Protect the Large-Scale Dog and Cat Breeders Act
- Uphold the Horse Slaughter Ban
We know there is much work to be done. Thanks to Texas Humane Legislation Network, we have many good laws in Texas…but many animals still have little or no protection and laws often go unenforced. We encourage everyone to support THLN by:
- Making a yearly donation to THLN
- Actively encouraging friends and family to sign up for Action Alerts
- Meeting with representatives and local officials to discuss animal issues
- Supporting THLN's efforts for ALL animals, recognizing that compassion for animals must extend beyond just companion animals
On a national level, the Humane Society of the United States, the Humane Society Legislative Fund, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, In Defense of Animals, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund work tirelessly to protect animals from abuse. We encourage you to visit their websites and sign up to receive notices when action is needed at the national level.
Check out the most recent Humane Scorecard!
And don't forget to get involved locally, which is where many of us can make the most immediate impact!
- Find out if your city has an Animal Shelter Advisory Board, which is required for most cities in Texas with an animal shelter, and attend their meetings—or better yet, apply to sit on the board! You don't have to be an animal or legal expert; you just need to be someone with an interest in animals in your community.
- Your local animal ordinances can be found on most cities' websites…read them and don't be afraid to try to strengthen them by contacting your city council members or speaking at the next council meeting. In Flower Mound, the animal ordinances are found in Chapter 6 of the General Ordinances.
- Join the local THLN chapter.
- Encourage your sheriff and district attorney to take animal cruelty cases seriously and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.
- Learn about the connection between animal abuse and other crimes, such as domestic abuse, and partner with other organizations that might have a shared interest in seeing stronger laws and enforcement.
- Encourage your local police department to participate in Canine Encounter Training. Over the past few years, we have seen more and more tragic situations where a peace officer has shot a family pet. These incidents are usually the result of a lack of understanding of dog body language and behavior, and can be devastating to both the officer and the family who loses a beloved family pet. Read more about this issue and what you can do about it here.
- Visit your representatives' local offices. You can easily make an appointment by calling their offices, and they are always happy to give you a few minutes of their time. You don't have to be an expert; just pick one issue that you are really interested in or concerned about, and let them know you care about it and why. If they have questions that you can't answer, don't worry! That just gives you a reason to follow back up with them later when you can find the answers…and Humane Tomorrow, THLN, and other groups will be happy to help you get those answers. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be happy to either provide you with the information you need or refer you to someone who can.