The Power of One
There are many things you can do on your own to make positive changes for animals.
You can be a responsible pet owner and help to make sure your family's pets are healthy, safe and happy. This includes feeding your pets a healthy diet, giving them plenty of exercise, reminding your parents to take them for regular check-ups, and spending lots of quality time with them, so your pets feel like they're part of your family.
You can help your family make choices about food and products for your pets, as well as which veterinarian, groomer and boarding kennel to use. It's important to support businesses that you believe are providing quality products and services for pets. If your family is looking for a pet, encourage them to visit the Dumb Friends League or another animal shelter.
Do you have old blankets, pet toys, toilet-seat covers or shower curtain rings around your house? These are great items to donate to the Dumb Friends League. You can also ask your relatives and friends if they have items to donate. View our wish list for a complete list of items needed.
Do your part to keep your neighborhood clean and safe for animals and people by picking up any garbage you see.. You can educate your family, friends and neighbors about how poisonous antifreeze is to animals. If animals lick even a small amount of this substance, it could kill them. You can encourage them to use non-toxic antifreeze.
You can also encourage recycling among your family and friends. They'll be helping to eliminate a lot of items that would go into landfills, saving precious resources. Landfills are dangerous places for wild animals that explore. They can get injured or eat toxic substances dumped there. Composting is another way of recycling fruit and vegetable scraps that would normally end up in a landfill. Composted scraps eventually break down into incredibly rich soil that you can use for gardening. To get more information about composting, call Denver Recycles at (303) 640-1675.
If you feel strongly about an issue, express your opinion through an e-mail, letter or phone call to your city council, mayor or governor, or to the federal government through your senators, representatives and other elected officials. You can urge them to support or oppose legislation that affects animals, ask for copies of legislation that you're interested in, or let them know your opinion on an animal issue that concerns you.
The Dumb Friends League website includes animal issues and advocacy, tells you about recent state legislative activity and allows you to instantly write officials about pending issues. The State of Colorado website lists bills that affect our state and lists the elected officials for Colorado. Visit hsus.org aspca.org for information on national issues.
If you're at least 16 years old, you can volunteer at the Dumb Friends League. All volunteers go through an orientation and training and make at least a six-month commitment, three hours a week. Teen volunteers can be assistant kennel technicians and exercise, socialize and feed the animals, as well as clean kennels. This is a wonderful way to help the thousands of animals that we care for every year, as well as learn a lot and make great friends! You'll also develop new skills while exploring the field of animal care and acquiring hands-on work experience.
If you are between ages 12 and 15, dependable and responsible, have good communication skills, a willing to take on a variety of tasks and enthusiasm for working with people and animals, then our Junior Volunteer Club might be for you.
Another long-term commitment you can make is planting a garden at your home or school or being part of a community garden. Gardens beautify our communities and certain types of plants and flowers attract wildlife, which would give you an excellent opportunity to observe them. If you don't have a home or school garden to help with, call your local Parks and Recreation Department to find out about any community gardens in your area.