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Who can earn these patches and pins?
Anyone who is concerned with the welfare of animals. This program is designed to be flexible for anyone and any group including Girl Scouts*, Boy Scouts, youth groups, families and individuals. Patches can be earned with multi-levels and are based on ability and time invested – not necessarily the age of the achiever. You can progress through the levels — Friend, Volunteer, Advocate — earning one patch per year or choose to do them in a series culminating in a larger service project. Those who choose to do so can complete all five areas of interest — Birds, Pets, Habitats, Sea Life, Endangered — and earn the Animal Welfare Service Patch. More experienced achievers can earn the Delegate pins.
This Pet Advocate Service Patch is part of our “Advocate” level patches. This level of our patch program provides an opportunity for achievers to reach out into their community to get others involved. Program organizers can give these patches for recognition or they can be earned by completing requirements one to four below. This level is best for teens to adults and for younger children to complete with a parent or mentor. It is a natural progression from our “Volunteer” level patches, for troops of teen scouts and teen youth groups as well as individual teens and adults.
Can this patch be earned other ways?
Yes. Based on your geographic area and the ability of the achiever, other requirements may be more suitable. Use your own judgement for what is best for your group.
How much time does it take to earn this patch?
Generally, our Pet Advocate Patch can be earned in four to eight hours but consider making a regular commitment to advocate for pets.
Pet Welfare Advocate Patch Program Suggested Requirements
Completing the Animal Shelter Volunteer Patch Program is a suggested prerequisite for earning your Pet Welfare Advocate Patch. Your volunteer experience will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to advocate for pets. You can also opt to complete the volunteer requirements during your advocacy project.
Requirement 1: Choose a Pet Issue to Advocate For
People own pets for a variety of reasons. They provide love and companionship, can help with anxiety and depression and can even help people socialize more and make more friends. But sometimes pets are not properly cared for and they need our assistance. Choose a pet issue to advocate for.
- Why are there so many homeless pets? — Helpful link: Pet Overpopulation
- Why do people hoard pets? — Helpful link: Animal Hoarding
- What is TNR? — Helpful link: Trap, Neuter, Return
- What is a puppy mill? — Helpful link: Puppy Mills
- What is breed discrimination? — Helpful link: Ending Breed Discrimination
- Why do animals get neglected? — Helpful link: Fighting Animal Cruelty and Neglect
- What is a service dog? — Helpful link: What is a Service Dog
- Is it OK to keep exotic pets? — Helpful link: The Dangers of Keeping Exotic “Pets”, Exotic Animals as Pets
Based on your discussion, what pet issue will you advocate for? Some ideas:
- Get more volunteers for an animal shelter.
- Educate about proper pet care.
- Educate about the benefits of pet adoption.
- Raise money for a service dog for a disabled vet (your organization may not allow you to raise funds, check first.)
- Get community support for a cat colony.
Requirement 2: Plan and Carry Out an Advocacy Program
Now that you’ve chosen your issue to advocate for it’s time to get started. Helpful link: How to Advocate for your Cause
Who do want to reach? Some ideas:
- Your Family
- Your Neighbors
- Politicians — Helpful link: How to Contact Your Elected Officials
- Your Classmates
- Your Fellow Worshipers
- Other Groups or Organizations
How will you reach them? Some ideas:
- Talk to them. Consider wearing a button as a conversation starter.
- Hand out flyers. Consider setting up a booth to collect donations if allowed.
- Hang tags on doors and mail boxes.
- Make posters.
- Reach out with social media such as facebook.
- Send a press release to your local newspaper or school newspaper. Helpful link: How to write a press release.
Requirement 3: Thank Your Community
Ways to say Thank You:
- Personally thank individuals and businesses who helped. A hand written letter is always nice. Helpful link: How to write a thank you letter.
- Give certificates of appreciation.
- Thank the community as a whole with posters.
- Create a follow up press release and include the names of individuals and businesses who participated.
- Thank the community as a whole on social media.
Once you’ve earned this patch you may want to earn our Pet Welfare Delegate Pin.
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