Kinship Circle
Bear Witness. Speak.
Demand. Act.
Stop suffering at the hands
of human greed and cruelty.
Investigative Research Tips
Background Facts To Build A Case
  1. Extract Clues From News Stories
    Carefully read media reports to extract "clues" about WHO has the power to sway an outcome for animals. For example, extract the name of a District Attorney and/or county that has jurisdiction where a crime occurred. If news coverage identifies a company that tests on animals, record names of CEOs, pertinent staff and spokespeople. For cruelty tied to a government agency, copy the agency's name and any titled staff members mentioned in the article. Save your "clues list" as a base to find valid contact information.

    Google key words or names to find more articles about the same case. The more you read, the more clues you find. Always record the link to each news article used!

  2. Get Information From Animal Groups
    Sometimes the best overview comes from one or more animal organizations that have investigated undercover or extensively documented an issue. PETA's covert probes inside research labs, for example, have exposed audio-visual evidence and violations of animal cruelty law. Wildlife groups often chronicle abuse such as the Canadian seal hunt, slaughter of northwestern gray wolves or Yellowstone buffalo…with timely data and ways to take action.
    But don't write a novel…
    • Record data applicable to the alert at hand.
    • Verify any decision-maker contact information!
    • Note an animal group's name and links to web
    • pages that you referenced.
    • Jot down contact info for any group reps you spoke to.

  3. Call Sources Related To The Case
    When Internet searches fail to uncover solid contact information or verify claims, you may need to phone parties associated with animal cruelty.
    • Conduct communication politely and professionally.
    • Do NOT mention Kinship Circle unless forcefully pressed to do so. You are a "concerned citizen" rather than an "activist." If the person you speak to is defensive or angry, you won't get good information.
    • However if phoning an animal organization, you may choose to identify yourself as a Kinship Circle rep.
    • You may discuss phone inquiry concerns with us.

  4. View Animal Abuse Conditions On-Site
    If animal cruelty occurs in your area, you may talk to us about documentation and photography near the scene.
    • You agree to abide by all local/federal laws and act in compliance with governmental authority.
    • You agree to act on your own recognizance and that any individuals or organizations affiliated with Kinship Circle cannot be held responsible for injury, costs, or legal consequences incurred.
    • You maintain health insurance and are responsible for any medical expenses incurred.
common links to find content and contact information








tips to find contact information for key decision makers

Even when evidence clearly shows animal abuse, protest comments must target the right people — or activists are just blowing off steam. A campaign also falls flat if it lists incorrect contact information for letter recipients.

Alerts work best when many people send them in different ways. Automated petitions alone can fail or worse, provoke bad results ofor animals. Kinship Circle does offer "sign-and-submit" auto alerts — but also urges activists to personally email, webmail, snail-mail, phone, fax or meet with decision-makers. Unlike other organizations, every alert lists complete contact information for each recipient. Activists choose HOW they want to send remarks, and always know where an auto petition goes.

Example: Contact Info To Find For Each Letter Recipient
➔  First & Last Name: Tom Vilsack
➔  Title: Secretary of Agriculture
➔  Company Or Agency: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

➔  Street Address: 1400 Independence Ave SW
➔  City, State, Zip: Washington, DC 20250
➔  Country: USA

➔  Phone: 202-720-3631
➔  Fax: 202-720-2166

➔  Relevant Email Addresses:
      General email  ~
      Krysta Harden, chief of staff  ~
      Carole Jett, deputy chief of staff  ~
      USDA Communications  ~

➔  Webmail:

➔  Source Of Contact Information:

tips to find contact information for key decision makers

Where Should I Start?
Review the methods under BACKGROUND FACTS TO BUILD A CASE. If you've followed these guidelines, you have a list of names and "clues" about who can influence results for animals. Below are tactics for finding their contact information.

  • Find A Main Website For The Contact Person
    Google a name/title to find a person's main website affiliation. Get all contact info listed and record the site's URL. Look for key words: Contact, Feedback, Directory, Locations, Customer Service, etc. Record email addresses you may not use (press people, admin aides) — to see how emails are configured.

  • Search Various Name/Title Configurations For The Same Person. For Example:

    • The Honorable Patricia Jessamy
    • Baltimore City State's Attorney Office
    • Office of State's Attorney in Baltimore

  • Email-Suffix Lookup
    Valid email addresses are essential. Automated letters do not work without them. Most activists will never fax, call or write. But they will email their comments. If you find an email suffix related to a contact, Google that suffix to see if it leads you to the person you want (or other useful emails). For example:

    • Note the email suffix for Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs ends in

    • Google to try to locate more key officials in this ministry.

    • Do not record email addresses that are over one year old! For example, if a web page or document says "Dated 2009," we cannot use it. Invalid emails far outnumber ones that actually work. Nothing generates more complaints to us than bad emails.

  • Email Address Reverse Lookup
    Perhaps you've confirmed some emails, but still need a person's street address, phone, fax or webmail.

    • Google an email address until you find timely sources for the rest of a person's contact information.

    • New search results may uncover more decision-makers and their contact information.

    • For example, Google a fur company's customer service email. Your search brings up investor relations emails for the same firm. Follow those leads to dig for CEO or board member contact info.

  • Phone, Fax, Or Address Reverse Lookup
    Same as above. Google the info you have, to both confirm it and find more.

  • Find Contacts In Unexpected Places
    You may stumble upon emails, phone, fax…buried in documents linked to a contact's business or agency. Check out these type files if they show up in a search:

    • Press releases.
    • Board or other meeting notes.
    • Attendee rosters from conferences or other events.
    • Similar documents that list contact information.

    If you can't find the person you want, but notice a colleague's email — search that email suffix (i.e., A document may show related staff emails (public information officer, top aide, vice president, deputy chief) that we can use as well.
know how to represent Kinship Circle when communicating with leads and sources

Short Identity Blurb
Kinship Circle is a nonprofit focused in Animal Advocacy, Education, and Disaster Rescue. We work in the U.S. and abroad, providing aid for animals harmed in disasters and action for all who suffer at the hands of human greed and cruelty.

Mission Blurbs
Kinship Circle Focuses In 3 Main Areas:
1) Action
2) Education
3) Disaster Rescue

  1. Investigative Research & Action
    Kinship Circle believes social justice must evolve to give each nonhuman animal his/her right to not be enslaved, tortured or murdered. To reach that ultimate goal, we seek animal protection and freedom via reforms in legislation, industry and culture. Our founding focus is investigative research and action campaigns to stop cruel practices and/or toughen animal-related laws. We rally voices worldwide to join our action campaigns, for real results that impact the lives of animals now.

  2. Humane Education Resources
    Kinship Circle advocates education as a pathway change. We produce free, downloadable literature for use in educational settings, leafleting, presentations, student projects… Our online library spans most animal issues, with over 50 different handouts.

  3. Disaster Animal Response Team
    Kinship Circle Disaster Animal Response Team aids animal victims of catastrophic events. We work with emergency agencies and nonprofits to supply skill, stamina and leadership — in a spirit of cooperation that best serves animals. Volunteers reflect a range of training and certification in:
    • Search and Rescue
    • Technical Rescue / Large Animal Rescue
    • Animal Impacts Assessment
    • Field First Aid and Animal Transport
    • Veterinary Training and/or Veterinary Treatment Experience
    • Emergency Sheltering
    • Shelter In Place (in-field food/water delivery programs)
    • Specialized Training (i.e., wildlife rehab, water rescue, fire, etc.)

    Some of the disasters we've activated for:

Download Kinship Circle Logo
If you ever need Kinship Circle's official logo for use in print or online, artwork in several layouts and resolutions is here:

You May Submit Research Notes Using Form Below
1) What Case Or Situation Are you Researching?

2) Enter Your Volunteer Contact Info Below:

*First Name
*Last Name  
*Zip Code  
*Cell Phone  
Land Phone  
Your Volunteer Contact Information: Kinship Circle uses your contact information privately to maintain its volunteer list.

Do you want to be credited for your work with your name and email link shown in alerts?

Yes    No

3) Contact Information For Key Decision-Makers In This Animal Cruelty Case:
Type Or Copy/Paste Each Person's Contact Information Into Appropriate Text Fields.
  • For each decision-maker, send as much contact information as you can find.
  • Mandatory: Fill in the SOURCE URL — the link to a web page where you found contact info.
  • More than 6 decision-makers? Type or copy/paste them into the More Contact Information box at bottom.

First and Last Name  First and Last Name 
Title  Title 
Company or Agency  Company or Agency 
Street Address  Street Address 
City, State, Zip  City, State, Zip 
Country  Country 
Phone  Phone 
Fax  Fax 
Email Address  Email Address 
Webmail Link  Webmail Link 
First and Last Name  First and Last Name 
Title  Title 
Company or Agency  Company or Agency 
Street Address  Street Address 
City, State, Zip  City, State, Zip 
Country  Country 
Phone  Phone 
Fax  Fax 
Email Address  Email Address 
Webmail Link  Webmail Link 
First and Last Name  First and Last Name 
Title  Title 
Company or Agency  Company or Agency 
Street Address  Street Address 
City, State, Zip  City, State, Zip 
Country  Country 
Phone  Phone 
Fax  Fax 
Email Address  Email Address 
Webmail Link  Webmail Link 

4) Concise Overview Of The Animal Cruelty Situation You Are Researching:
Type Or Copy/Paste Your Notes In Box Below.
  • Give a brief summary of what happened, where, animals harmed…
  • Mandatory — List credible background sources that you used to get this information:
      ▫  Any WEBSITE name and link used for information.
      ▫  Any NEWS STORY title and link used to get information.
      ▫  Any ANIMAL ORGANIZATION name and link used.
      ▫  Any INDUSTRY, GOVERNMENT OR OTHER names and links used.
      ▫  EXAMPLE: A name and link look like this — Kinship Circle,

5) Sample Letter — Not Required! But If You Like To Write…
Type Or Copy/Paste Your Sample Letter Or Talking Points In Box Below.
  • Kinship Circle sample-letter alerts reach thousands of people worldwide. We write lean and fact based. No melodrama.
  • See Action Alerts to review the style used for our sample letters.
  • Sample letters should not exceed a single 8.5 x 11" standard page.
  • We prefer sample letters with an ESSAY STYLE writing format that include:
      ▫  Introduction: Open letters with who and why a person is writing.
      ▫  Call to Action: By 2nd or 3rd paragraph, define the action you want a letter recipient to take.
      ▫  Topic Paragraphs: Use fact-based points to convince recipients to end a cruel practice.
      ▫  Conclusion: Recap the letter's main argument and call to action.
      ▫  Read our WRITING WITH IMPACT Fact Sheet to create a powerful letter!

Kinship Circle reserves the right to use, edit, and/or reject any submitted writing.

Enter the code on left exactly as you see it. The code is case sensitive.
Confirmation code: