What Can We Do for Animals?

6, 7, 8

Learners identify ways to use advocacy to promote change.

PrintOne 45-Minute Session
  • explore ways to speak up to meet needs or for the rights of animals.
  • identify animal advocacy organizations and their roles

​Learning to Give. Open the Door to the Animal Shelter, video and guide.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Share this resource with a video and discussion to introduce the work of an animal shelter and prompt young people to identify and contact local nonprofits that protect animals. They find out what the nonprofit is doing, its needs, and how young people can help.

  2. Talk about the words advocate and advocacy that come from the Latin word advocatus meaning to “add voice.” We “add voice” by writing, speaking, pleading, or acting in favor of or support of something.”  What can we do to add our voices to address a need of animals locally? 

  3. While many of these ideas are not appropriate for youth, advocacy may look like petitions, boycotts, letter writing, editorials, volunteering, parades, rallies, pickets, sit-ins, silent protests, hunger strikes, publicity, advertising, graffiti, blockades, riots, demonstrations, strikes, walkouts, lockouts, teach-ins, internet voting, debates, campaigning, street corner talks, fundraising, lobbying, signs, posters, films, poetry, and songs.

  4. Challenge the young people to select an issue identified by the local nonprofit that they may help through an act of advocacy.

    This may include requests for a local dog park, access to water for animals in public places, local animal welfare laws and regulations, availability of affordable pet care, animal food and toys, and need for spay and neuter clinics.

  5. Together they determine the appropriate audience for their advocacy and make plans to take action.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Discuss why some animals and humans will sacrifice for the benefit of unknown others.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respecting their right to be heard.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Identify civil society organizations that protect and speak for minority viewpoints.
    3. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Discuss a public policy issue affecting the common good and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Identify outcomes from the service.