Attention Girl Scout Seniors! You can earn your Voice for Animals badge at home with help from our Outreach Program team. By earning this badge, you will find out about the complex relationship between animals and humans, so you can make informed choices and help others make them too. Step One is to find out about domestic animals, so you’re going to compose a pet’s rights document.
- Safe access to the internet after taking Girl Scouts of the USA’s Internet Safety Pledge
- Writing materials/Word processing software on your computer
Animals used to be tolerated in the house only to the extent of their usefulness. Dogs would eat leftover food and guard area. Cats would keep the rodent population to a minimum. Somewhere over the course of human history, humans began to bond with their animals, and pets became the norm. However, the standards for how we treat our pets has also changed over time. What rights should pets have? How can we best protect our pets from harm and abuse?
After taking Girl Scouts of the USA’s Internet Safety Pledge, research topics associated with the care and keeping of domestic pets, such as:
- The importance of spaying and neutering your pet.
- Is it okay to declaw cats?
- Is it okay to dock puppies’ tails or ears, or remove their dewclaws
- Is it okay to use a shock collar on a dog, or an electric wire on a fence?
- Is it okay to crate train animals, and if so, how long should they be kept in a crate at a time?
- What guidelines should be in place for a classroom pet?
- How many pets is too many in one household?
- Are there animals that are unsuited to being household pets, but commonly are?
- Should a pet bird be given time outside of their cage? How much
- Any other topic you feel is important to keeping pets safe.
Some places to look include your city and state laws. You can also research these topics through the websites dedicated to animal welfare. There are some links at the end of this blog post to get your research started.
After your research, write up a Pets Bill of Rights, stating what you think it takes to treat pets ethically and respectfully. Share your Pets Bill of Rights on the GSCO Blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Twitter and Instagram users should also use #GSColo.
Here are some links to get your research started, but you are not limited to these links. If your city or town isn’t listed, it is easy to find their animal laws with a simple Google search : (Your City) animal laws
- Colorado state level laws regarding animals: https://www.animallaw.info/statutes/us/colorado
- Denver’s municipal codes regarding pets: https://library.municode.com/co/denver/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=TITIIREMUCO_CH8AN
- Colorado Springs municipal codes regarding pets: https://coloradosprings.gov/page/city-regulations-animals
- Colorado Humane Society’s Tips for Animal Care: https://coloradohumane.org/resources/tips-for-animal-care/
We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.