Fifth graders in downtown Brooklyn created an “Adopt Don’t Shop” campaign to help prevent the overpopulation and euthanasia of animals bred in mills. The class began by wanting to help ban kill shelters in New York City but, after meeting with advocates in the field, learned that the breeding of puppies and other animals to sell in pet stores is at the root of animal overpopulation. They also discovered that the conditions of most puppy mills are inhumane and seriously under-regulated. The students felt strongly that by educating families in their school community and encouraging them to adopt pets from local shelters, their class could help decrease euthanasia in open shelters. They published and distributed an “Adopt Don’t Shop” newsletter, which can be viewed below, that included articles about puppy mills, an interview with an animal rights advocate, cartoons, and more.
Another group of fifth graders created an advocacy campaign to help prevent animal testing by U.S. laboratories creating cosmetic products. They organized a petition drive to support the federal Humane Cosmetics Act and shared the results with their congressional representative. They also created an awareness raising campaign for their school community that provided detailed information about how animals are abused in labs that use animal testing, as well as how consumers can use their financial power to persuade cosmetic companies to test their products without harming animals.