lizard laying down

Learn How to Advocate for Wild Animals in Your Community



Advocate for wild animals in your community with our downloadable toolkit.

Confronting global issues like the wildlife trade can feel overwhelming. But there’s so much you can do in your own community to make a meaningful difference for animals. One concrete action you can take is to advocate for a retail pet sale ban in your city or county. These laws prohibit pet stores from selling animals.  

Tens of thousands of wild animals, including turtles, iguanas, and parakeets, are bred in cruel conditions and sold in US pet stores every year. Shutting down the wild-animal-to-pet-store-pipeline is an effective way to protect these animals from suffering.  

While hundreds of communities and five states have retail pet sale bans that ban the sale of dogs, cats, and sometimes rabbits in stores, these laws largely leave out wild animals. In 2017, Cambridge, Massachusetts made history by becoming the first and only US city to ban the sale of almost all animals in stores, including birds, amphibians, reptiles, arachnids, and mammals. Your community could be next!  

Banning Retail Sales of Wild Animals: A Toolkit for Animal Advocates 

World Animal Protection’s new publication, Banning Retail Sales of Wild Animals: A Toolkit for Animal Advocates, breaks down the steps to advocating for a retail pet sale ban in your city. First, the toolkit walks you through the main issues surrounding the possession and sale of wild animals, including how it fuels the destructive wildlife trade, the impact on local ecosystems, and the burden it places on already stressed animal shelters.  

Next, you’ll learn the basics of grassroots advocacy and how to propose a retail pet sale ban to your legislators, as well as how to rally your community behind you. The toolkit also contains a copy of the Cambridge ordinance and seven factsheets geared towards legislators broken down by topic: 

  1. Overview: Banning the Retail Sale of Animals   

  1. Pet Stores Purchase Animals from Cruel Mills and Animal Dealers  

  1. Few Legal Protections for Many Animals Sold in Stores  

  1. Wild “Pets” Are a Key Driver of the Destructive Wildlife Trade 

  1. Wild Animals Formerly Kept as Pets Are Harming Local Ecosystems 

  1. Keeping Wild Animals as Pets Endangers Public Health 

  1. Retail Pet Sales Increase the Burden on Shelters 

These factsheets are extensively cited, ensuring that your arguments are grounded in science and allowing readers to learn more about specific topics.  

Tell Us About Your Campaign 

Are you advocating for a retail pet sale ban in your community or just thinking about it? Send me a message! I’d love to learn more and support you in your work. Reach me at or on Twitter at @endanimaltrade.

More about