Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date



Animal abuse and neglect is an ongoing, documented problem for society. Cases of animal harm stream in and out of news reports and public discussion. With changes in technology, mass communication has become more than a convenient outlet for publicizing stories about animal harm. Not-for-profit organizations look to mass communication as a way to gain support from the public.

Animal welfare organizations use mass communication to benefit their causes and reach multiple groups through their use of fundraising campaigns. Animal welfare organizations were created to address the problem of abuse and harm. But, as not-for-profit organizations, they rely heavily on donations and voluntary support from the public. In order to achieve their mission, the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), two of the most popular animal welfare organizations, rely heavily on mass communication fundraising campaigns.

This research study examines four mass communication campaigns from the ASPCA and PETA. The campaigns involve the use of mass communication through print, television/video broadcasting, mail, and the Internet. I describe how each organization uses these forms of mass communication to successfully accomplish their fundraising goals.