White Coat Waste Project was founded in 2013. It is a bipartisan coalition of more than 400,000 advocates and stakeholders dedicated to ending government-funded animal testing. Its work has been highlighted by the Washington Post, US News & World Report, FOX News, LA Times and others. They combine grassroots advocacy, media campaigns, coalition building and lobbying to achieve their core objectives. This case study examines how White Coat Waste Project used Soft Edge Government Relations and Advocacy software to cut funding for dog testing at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
White Coat Waste Project sought to end the practice of using dogs in painful laboratory experiments at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In addition to media campaigns, the White Coat Waste Project empowered their grassroots coalition to reach out to legislators and used direct lobbying to develop relationships with lawmakers.
“The Soft Edge applications, Congress Plus and Congress Web, have made our outreach to federal lawmakers and our 400,000 supporters more effective and efficient and helped us build the support we needed to pass legislation and enact other critical policy changes that protect animals and taxpayers.” Justin Goodman – VP, Advocacy & Public Policy, White Coat Waste Project
They started by creating a sustained online advocacy campaign that allowed their advocates to contact their Members of Congress with a crafted message in support of ending the practice of using dogs in laboratory experiments at the VA. More than 250,000 messages were sent to Members of Congress for this campaign using Soft Edge Advocacy software. Advocates also called their legislators.
To coordinate their direct lobbying effort, the White Coat Waste Project team used Soft Edge Government Relations software. They maintained regular outreach to congressional offices by email to get the interest of staffers and develop relationships. They also scheduled and tracked meetings with key legislators and stakeholders.
White Coat Waste Project made great strides in their campaign to end dog testing at the Department of Veterans Affairs. In June 2017, the Los Angeles Department of Veterans Affairs halted dog testing that had occurred for decades. In July 2017, the PUPPERS Act was introduced in the House and has found significant bipartisan support. Finally, also in July 2017, Congress voted unanimously to cut funding for the VA’s most painful dog testing in Fiscal Year 2018.