Monday, February 28, 2011

Advocates can become lobbyists for a day

Writing letters, phoning and demonstrating -- sure. But if you’ve ever wished you could speak directly to legislators in behalf of animals, here’s your chance.

On Monday, March 14, three animal welfare organizations will partner for Humane Lobby Day at the State House in Trenton, NJ. Between 9 am-3 pm, animal advocates who attend will get lobbying tips and an overview of pending legislation having to do with animals. Then they will meet with their state legislators to advocate for animals.

The day's sponsors are the Humane Society of the US (HSUS), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Animal Welfare Institute.

Lobbyists-for-a-day would definitely make a positive difference for animals if they successfully lobby lawmakers to pass these two bills:

· A-2509/S-540 – would authorize courts to include pet protection in domestic violence restraining orders; and
· A-3162/S-539 – would establish racketeering charges for the leaders of dogfighting rings.

Not only would the first bill help protect family pets in households where abuse takes place, but also without animal abuse, or its threat, human victims would find it easier to leave such situations.

Animal fighting alone is horrible enough, but it often involves illegal drugs, gambling and weapons too -- all threats to public safety. The second bill would add teeth to law enforcement efforts against dog fighting.

To lobby for animals on March 14, first register with the HSUS:

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