Take Action: Make Your City a Guardian City in 2012

IDA created the Guardian Campaign in 1999, encouraging those who value animals to turn language into action by starting Guardian Campaigns in their own cities. Since then, over 5,941,602 Americans and Canadians have been officially recognized as "animal guardians." IDA continues to incite exciting developments in the Guardian Campaign as it spreads like wildfire across the nation and beyond.

The simple word “guardian” facilitates an inner understanding of our responsibility to the furry, feathered, and scaled beings whose loyalty, uniqueness, and generosity enrich our lives so greatly. By using "guardian" language when we communicate with others, we send a clear message that every individual animal has an inherent worth that far exceeds any mere material possession that can be "owned" like a table or a TV.

Ordinances in favor of guardian language give each citizen an opportunity to be officially recognized as the guardian or guardian/owner on animal tags, public park signs, veterinary forms, adoption forms, kennel forms, and on all animal companion-related publications. Guardian Cities encourage residents to do their part by adopting and spaying/neutering their animals, and by reporting any abuse to the local humane society or police station.

Every day in your city, veterinarians, animal shelter staff, humane society officers, and police officers see overwhelming evidence of animal abandonment, neglect, and physical abuse. Animal care professionals work tirelessly to improve the lives of animals and serve as an inspiration for anyone who wants to foster greater respect for animals in their own community. To honor these dedicated individuals, many municipalities now recognize them as animal guardians through updated city codes, county ordinances, and state legislation. Some of the cities that have recently passed ordinances to use guardian language include Santa Clara County and Imperial Beach, California; Bloomington, Indiana; and San Jose, California. IDA is aggressively working to put more Guardian Cities on the map.

Would you like to add the term "animal guardian" to your city's animal-related ordinances? You can help your community become the next Guardian City by working with your local officials to incorporate "guardian" language into city ordinances. Visit our Guardian Cities page for a listing and check whether your city is there. If it is not, please call 415-448-0075 to speak with IDA President Emeritus, Dr. Elliot Katz or email him at emk@idausa.org. He will provide you with the appropriate steps you need to take to make your city a Guardian City and send you a Guardian Pack with further information.

We would like to extend our special thanks to the government representatives, community leaders, animal welfare and protection organizations, teachers, and student groups who have worked to recognize community members as guardians of animals.

Read the Guardian Campaign Mission Statement & Goals