Unfortunately, the world is not a very peaceful or safe place for many individuals. From conflict to abuse to exploitation, there is so much cruelty inflicted on both humans and animals. While this can get disheartening and difficult to hear about, petitions are a great way to use your voice for good. Just by signing one, you are a part of helping those who are not treated fairly. You can even share them with your friends and acquaintances to increase your impact.

Through petitions, we can reach those in power and demand justice for others. They are valuable tools for making positive changes in the world. If you are looking for a way to help animals and humans, here are 10 petitions you should sign this week, including Send Gorillas to a Sanctuary, Ban Live Animal Mascots, and Delay SCOTUS Vote Until After the Election: 10 Petitions to Sign this Week to Help People, Animals and the Planet!

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We want to thank you for being the change you wish to see in the world and giving a voice to the voiceless.

1. Don’t Let Woman Who Abandoned Her Dog in the Forest Ever Own Another Dog

Source: KGW News/Youtube

When Henry, a yellow lab, was brought to Orchards Park by his owner, he was probably excited. He could get to play, run around, smell new things, and then finally return home ready for his warm bed. Sadly, his owner had other plans. Video surveillance of the cul de sac at Orchards Park shows the owner’s Tesla stop near a trailhead. She gets  Henry, takes off his leash, walks him towards the woods, and then sprints back to the car, leaving him behind. There are so many options and organizations that are willing to take in dogs if one does not have the means, time, or desire to keep their pet anymore. However, this owner just decided to abandon her sweet pup without any regard to what might happen to him. Luckily, homeowners saw their surveillance footage of the incident and took in the dog until a rescue group arrived to take him in. Authorities found the owner, Maria Bruce, but because she signed a statement admitting to what she did, Bruce escaped criminal charges. That means that in just two years, she can own another dog again. Sign this petition to demand that Maria Bruce be charged with animal abandonment, and never be allowed to own a dog again.

2. Support the Animal Cruelty Enforcement Act

sad dog

Source: Vahagn Mkrtchyan/Shutterstock

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Animal abuse laws in the United States are often at the state level, which means they end up being inconsistent and confusing to enforce since that responsibility belongs to many different departments. Thus, when animal abuses are found, many abusers go free or end up with a sentence that allows them to be around, and thus, abuse animals again. Fortunately, a piece of legislation was introduced to Congress, along with a companion bill in the Senate, that would fill in the gaps: the Animal Cruelty Enforcement Act. This act would create a designated sector within the Department of Justice (DOJ) for enforcing felony animal cruelty laws, so that laws could be better-enforced. Pets are living, breathing creatures that don’t have voices of their own, so it is our responsibility to lend them ours. Sign this petition to support the Animal Cruelty Enforcement Act

3. Demand Gorillas at Audubon Zoo be Transferred to a Reputable Sanctuary

Source: Associated Press/Youtube

Western lowland gorillas are a critically endangered species. Recently, one of these gorillas, living in captivity at the Audubon Zoo, gave birth to a baby girl. Sadly, she died only a few days later. The cause of death is currently unknown, however, the zoo is performing a necropsy and they assume that it has to due with a lack of lactation. The mother, Tunami, is heartbroken, as is Alfi, another gorilla who was being trained as a foster mother incase anything happened. Alfi has been traded between multiple zoos and ripped from her own children in the process. While it’s clear that the staff at the Audubon Zoo were also heartbroken over the infant’s loss, it’s also obvious that zoos are not places where animals belong. They are attractions that exploit animals for profit and human entertainment. These gorillas have undergone so much trauma and deserve to live out the rest of their days in peace. Sign this petition to demand that the Audubon Zoo do right by its remaining four gorillas and transfer them to a reputable sanctuary that focuses on the animals themselves, rather than profit!

4. Tell FEMA to Support Oregan During Wildfires 

Source: NBC News/Youtube

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Wildfires are spreading across the West Coast, causing irreparable damage. Homes have been burnt to the ground, habitats have been destroyed, and lives have been lost. One of the states affected by these deadly fires is Oregon. The unprecedented destruction has left the state reeling, and aid is spread thin between other West Coast states as almost 5 million combined acres of land have burned so far. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)  approved extra firefighting and emergency housing aid for Oregon; however, these parameters are vague and taxpayers have to cover the expenses at first. Sign this petition to demand that FEMA provides thorough emergency relief to Oregon that does not rely on underpaid incarcerated people being forced to fight fires, includes sending masks and filters, and covers the cost of emergency housing for people who have lost homes, evacuated their homes, as well as those who didn’t have homes to begin with.

5. Launch Investigation into ICE Centers Conducting Unwanted Hysterectomies

Source: NowThis News/Youtube

Women held in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention Center in Irwin County, Georgia who think they are receiving routine medical care are waking up with their uteruses removed. Many of these women were not offered translation services in order to understand what was about to happen. Instead, they were either left completely in the dark, or communicated with using Google translate. This is not proper consent and is completely unethical. The center has abnormally high numbers of hysterectomies being performed. According to the brave whistleblower, a nurse named Dawn Wooten, most of the women treated by a certain doctor who many detainees refer to as the “uterus collector,” ended up having their uteruses removed without them understanding why. One woman even recounted how she was improperly anesthetized, so she had to lie awake while listening to the doctor realize he had removed the wrong ovary and left her sterilized. Sign this petition to demand that the Georgia Composite Medical Board immediately revoke the license of the doctor performing these nightmare surgeries as well as open a full investigation into such clearly criminal conduct! The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must also launch a full investigation into this and all other ICE facilities committing such atrocities.

6. Save Protected Areas for African Wildlife

Source: Evening Standard/Youtube

COVID-19 is threatening Africa’s wildlife and funding for protected-areas. The sudden drop in tourism has led to a huge decrease in the budgeted revenue from the safaris industry dedicated to wildlife protection and protected areas management. Sadly, this has led to people losing their jobs as animal protectors and thus, an increase in poaching. Sign this petition to show your support for Africa’s already-threatened wildlife, biodiverse habitats, and the people who rely on sustainable nature-tourism for their livelihood.

7. No Vote on New Supreme Court Justice Until After Inauguration!

Source: CBS Los Angeles/Youtube

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a feminist icon who fought fiercely for progressive values. She was the second of only four women ever confirmed to the Supreme Court. Sadly, she passed away on September 18th, at 87 years old. Her final request, made to her granddaughter shortly before her death, was extremely clear: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” In 2016, Mitch McConnell delayed the vote on President Obama’s nominee for over a year, saying that a SCOTUS nomination shouldn’t happen during an election year. Now, with only a little over a month left until the election Mitch McConnell wants to vote on Trump’s nominee to fill RBG’s seat. We can’t allow his despicable hypocrisy to become reality. Sign this petition to demand that Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, holds on filling Ginsburg’s seat until after January’s inauguration.

8. Tell Large Corporations to Pay Their Employees to Be Poll Workers

Source: CBS Boston/Youtube

The U.S. has an unprecedented shortage of poll workers, primarily because most electoral inspectors in past years were retired and elderly individuals, who are uniquely at risk of contracting the deadly COVID-19 virus. These workers do the important jobs of setting up polling locations, defending the integrity of voting by protecting equipment and ballots, and educating voters about their rights. That’s why it’s amazing to hear that Old Navy is paying their retail employees to be poll workers this year! It can often be difficult for people who work certain jobs, like retail, to get time off to participate in the elections and even vote, since the U.S. still hasn’t declared Election Day a federal holiday yet. Sign this petition to tell Starbucks, Target, and other U.S. corporations to pay their workers to take the day off and become poll workers during the November 2020 election!

9. Support the Polar Bear Cub Survival Act

polar bears

Source: Lamberrto/Shutterstock

The Southern Beaufort Sea polar bear population is classified as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the most important nursery ground for these polar bears; however, the government is planning to allow drilling for gas and oil in that area. This extremely detrimental to these poor bears and the population of polar bears as a whole. It will disrupt the bears while the cubs are still young, and thereby lower the cub survival rate. The equipment could even crush these poor mothers and their cubs! The Polar Bear Cub Survival Act (H.R. 7876) aims to protect the Beaufort Sea polar bear’s denning habitat by creating a 1-mile buffer around identified polar bear denning habitat on the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where oil and gas activities cannot occur. Sign this petition and encourage your representatives to support the Polar Bear Cub Survival Act!

10. Ban Live Animal Mascots

Source: ESPN College Football/Youtube

While it is not common, there are some sports teams that proudly use live animals as their mascots. This is completely unethical and unnecessary, as it’s so easy to just pay a consenting human to wear a costume. Instead, the force animals to be in small enclosures, surrounded by loud noises and bright lights, which is obviously extremely disorienting and stressful. It can even cause outbursts, as was the case at the 2019 Sugar Bowl. Bevo is the University of Texas’s (UT) real-life longhorn steer; an enormous beast with horns that span several feet wide. Uga, on the other hand, is the “cute but tenacious bulldog” mascot for the University of Georgia ( UGA). During the teams’ football game against each other, the mascots were set up to meet each other in the middle of a large crowd. While Uga was waiting patiently on the sidelines with his handler, Bevo tried to break free and rush the pint-sized bulldog. With his head down and horns ready for action, Bevo came storming toward Uga sending people running for cover. Fortunately, both animals were fine; however, it goes to show how dangerous the use of animals as mascots can be. Animals are not props, they are living, breathing beings. While other teams have moved on from using live animals as mascots, others like UGA, UT, Louisiana State University, among others, have not. These schools are subjecting the animals they claim to love to unnecessary stress and unnatural situations. Sign this petition to demand that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tell their members to ban the use of live animal mascots

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