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NOV 23, 2009: Do online petitions work?

There are many online petitions regarding a variety of animal abuse/animal rights issues out there. Many of these petitions deal with very important issues. When signing a petition (or setting one up for that matter), you should keep in mind two things. First, the best types of petitions are ones where there is some kind of quality control, where there's a way to determine whether there aren't any duplicate entries, or simply whether the people that have signed the petition are real. Unfortunately, this is very hard to do, especially online. This is why, unless quality control can be proven, it can be hard for a petition to be taken seriously. Even more importantly, the petition should provide you with the following information - 1) Who it will be delivered to 2) When it will be delivered and 3) Why it's important to deliver this petition to this person/business/organization. If you're unsure about something, ask the creators of the petition.

Many people mistakenly think that simply signing a petition is enough. In our opinion, signing an online petition, although it can be beneficial (as outlined in point # 15 in our "How you can help" list), shouldn't be the only thing you do for animals. As we point out in that list, volunteering in no-kill shelters, physically getting involved in helping animals, donating time, supplies, or money to reputable organizations with a clear vision, and, more importantly, a clear path of action in regards to animal rescue/welfare, is much more important. If you do end up signing a petition, make sure that the petition you're signing has a chance of being seen by someone who has the power to change things.

Another important point to remember is not to spread yourself too thin, especially when you first get involved in trying to help animals. In our opinion, it's best initially to find one or two causes that you're really passionate about, and to really do something for those particular causes. Focus = a stronger involvement = more of a chance of success.

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