In case you are not involved in these areas at all, maybe it can be still useful just to learn how important to describe terms and goals before you start to build up a strategy based on them.
I have been considering writing about it or not, but time to time I face the struggle of activists who think their work is just an inefficient battle. I tried not to lecture, but help them come to term with the system how things work or should work in case of cruelty and abuse against animals.
When you mix up animal protection and animal rescue – which happens most of the time – you are failed!
And this is the main point. You have to define the terms you want to work and you have to create your own strategy to achieve your aims.
Animal rescue is just the peak of the battle. You found a homeless animal, try to recover him or her and after try your very best to find a new home.
You can help as many animals as you can, but your act itself is not going to decrease the number of animals on the streets for sure!
Animal protection really happens when you want the society to treat animals on a better way. You have to launch an agenda which is far more complicated, difficult and not as spectacular as rescuing animals and I do not mean rescue is not an important part, I just mean it is not the solution, it just curing the wounded and not preventing from the harm. Animal protection is a real long process and not easy to measure the results.
When you protect animals, you lobby for laws to ban acts and deter anyone committing animal cruelty and you help to build up a system where legal force can mean some help.
The other hand you have to educate on a real huge variety of topics. From the starting point if someone is capable of keeping an animal at all until spreading the world why you should respect them.
Animal welfare works parallel with your animal protection activity, and when you work on animal welfare, you have to make sure that all the animal keepers get those knowledge needed to have their pets safe, secure and healthy.
When you want to find the solution of a complex problem, you never can neglect some part of the solutions, you always have to see the whole picture to be wise enough to reach any kind of permanent goals.