Animal Farm Foundation

Creating organizational thought leadership at the forefront of advocacy



  • Bring AFF to public awareness as thought leader on animal and human rights
  • Emphasize AFF’s expertise on breed restriction and housing policy


  • Thought Leader Development
  • Policy campaign media strategy
  • Media Relations


  • Four cities overturned Breed Specific Legislation
  • Top-tier media placements for op-eds & research
  • Strategic media campaigns for policy reform

The Wakeman Agency partnered with Animal Farm Foundation (AFF) on its efforts to address breed restriction laws and practices that hinder access to housing and disability service resources for their human companions. AFF needed to develop their organizational identity as a leading, public expert on dog discrimination, in order to review their policies.. The first step to building this public brand was to garner media attention for AFF in relation to on-going discussions about dog breeds perceived as dangerous. For instance, when airlines began banning pitbull service dogs from accompanying owners on flights, The Wakeman Agency set up national media interviews for AFF leadership and service dog owners to discuss the issue and its impact. The Wakeman Agency used this initial coverage to launch a nationwide media campaign to highlight the efforts of AFF . This public attention established AFF as an organization at the forefront of animal rights advocacy, and as the lead on legislative efforts in states across the country.

On the legislative front, The Wakeman Agency launched strategic campaigns for AFF in target cities to draw attention to various policies, and how they frequently target low income households and communities of color. This public pressure for change led to the overturning of breed specific policies in at least four cities. Additionally, AFF, with the assistance of The Wakeman Agency, took its case directly to insurance companies through articles in trade publications. Animal Farm Foundation AFF’s issue expertise through these articles laid the groundwork for the reform of discriminatory housing practices.

The Wakeman Agency’s work led to AFF establishing the foundation of their thought leadership by:

  • Introducing AFF into the public sphere through key mentions in top-tier media outlets, including: The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, People Magazine, and others.
  • Bringing AFF voices to insurance leaders through op-eds in top industry publications and educational information provided by the organization to insurance industry publications such as Insurance Research Letter, Claims Journal, and NU Property Casualty 360.
  • Strategic media placements for policy campaigns in specific states where controversial breed specific legislation (BSL) were under consideration.Development of targeted op-eds that highlight top research by the National Canine Research Council and AFF to correct emotion-driven misinformation and reveal hard data that shows the bias in BSL laws.
  • Their role as expert and thought leader contributed to four cities overturning breed specific policies, including Sioux City, Iowa; Council Bluffs, Iowa;, Williston, North Dakota;, and Keota, Colorado.

Thought Leadership Development

The Wakeman Agency’s partnership with AFF has directly impacted the organization’s positioning and influence. As a thought partner, we strategized approaches to help AFF engage their audiences on a broader scale. Our collaboration resulted in establishing the organization as an expert and burgeoning thought leader on the issue of breed specific legislation. Our work to increase AFF’s media presence, to target specific cities with media campaigns to overturn legislation, and to strengthen their public voice through op-eds established a foundation of thought leadership that can be developed further. Animal Farm Foundation’s on-going advocacy, writing, and participation in public conversations about housing and animal rights expands their position as a resource for leading voices at the intersection of animal and human rights. In particular, the foundation we helped establish has enabled AFF to develop the Dogs, People, and Housing Insurance Project, that puts AFF at the forefront of work to end exclusionary dog breed restrictions that advance racist, classist, and ableist housing policies.

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