February 12, 2009
Rally at Mississippi Capitol Urging Lawmakers to Protect Pets
Citizens from across Mississippi will assemble at the state capitol to rally in support of animal protection legislation and to meet with lawmakers today to urge them to pass S.B. 2357, a bill to create tougher laws for the worst acts of cruelty to dogs and cats. The citizen lobbyists will be joined by Dale Bartlett, The HSUS' deputy manager for animal cruelty issues. Humane Lobby Day is being sponsored by the Mississippi Animal Rescue League, the Humane Society of South Mississippi and The Humane Society of the United States.
The day will start at 9 a.m. with a legislative briefing at the Woolfolk Annex Building, Room 204, after which animal protection advocates from across the state will spread out to meet directly with their elected officials to urge support for this important legislation.
S.B. 2357, sponsored by Sen. Billy Hewes, R-Gulfport, would make aggravated cruelty to a dog or a cat a felony offense. Mississippi is one of only four states in the nation without felony provisions for animal cruelty.
"People who abuse animals can abuse people — it's as simple as that," Bartlett said. "We think the kind and decent people of Mississippi — and their pets — deserve safer communities. Mississippi legislators can help reassure the state's pet lovers by enacting felony penalties for the worst abuses to dogs and cats."
Last year, state legislatures across the country passed 93 new laws for animals. The HSUS works with animal advocates and state legislators across the country to enact laws protecting animals from cruelty, combating animal fighting, halting wildlife abuse and more.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.