Donations save lives. Advocacy makes change.
The Potter League is committed to supporting meaningful protections for animals. The Advocacy and Public Policy Committee was created to advise and assist the Potter League’s Board of Directors, staff and other committees in identifying issues of importance to the League and the community. By formulating research, communication, public education and advocacy plans, we create change for animals.
The Potter League is also an active participant in the Ocean State Animal Coalition (OSAC), where we work with other Rhode Island organizations involved in animal care, control and sheltering, as well as humane education and veterinary medicine.
When making decisions from policy to legislation support to animal care, we refer to the Five Freedoms for guidance. The Five Freedoms help to evaluate animal welfare and limit animal suffering. By looking towards each of the Five Freedoms, communities can assess the welfare of animals in human care, identify areas needing improvement, and enact changes to benefit animals.
The Five Freedoms Are:
Freedom from Hunger and Thirst: All animals require access to a nutritious diet and fresh, clean water.
Freedom from Discomfort: An appropriate environment must be provided, which includes a clean living space, protection from the elements, and a comfortable place to rest.
Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease:Precautions should be taken to prevent illness and injury. When problems do occur, veterinary diagnosis and treatment should be as prompt and effective as possible.
Freedom to Express Normal Behavior: Animals should be given facilities adequate for the performance of behaviors typical for the species, including access to enough space and social companions where appropriate.
Freedom from Fear and Distress: Conditions, treatment, and handling should be designed to avoid stress or mental suffering.
What About Livestock?
The Potter League is proud to be a part of Rhode Island’s Livestock Welfare and Care Standards Advisory Council. The purpose of the council is to serve as an advisory body to the director of Department of Environmental Management and the General Assembly in making recommendations related to the overall health and welfare of livestock species. Animal care standards are currently being developed by the council for a variety of livestock species.
Researchers and professionals in both animal welfare and human services fields have discovered a strong relationship between animal abuse and other forms of community violence, such as domestic violence, child maltreatment, and elder abuse. This species-spanning correlation is called “The Link”. Animal abuse can no longer be viewed as a one-time incident, but instead as a “red flag” that other family members in the household may not be safe. Through our advocacy efforts, we aim to break the cycle of violence that often touches multiple family members and spans generations.
Our mission is educate and advise decision makers in federal, state, and local government to enact positive changes for the welfare of animals and the community. As we learn about new bills, we will share our support or opposition here.
Writing to your representatives is one of the most effective ways to take part in in the process of improving laws for animals. Find your legislators here: www.vote.sos.ri.gov.
When writing or calling your representatives, always remember:
- Keep it simple and specific.
- Include your name and address, even on an email. Be sure to mention any professional credentials or personal experience you may have that relates to the subject of your letter.
- Persuade with logic and facts, not emotion.
- State what it is you want done or recommend a course of action.
- Keep your letters to one page or less. If necessary, you can attach a fact sheet.
- Check your spelling and grammar!
- Be polite, courteous and respectful at all times, and thank the recipient for his/her consideration of your views.