February 12, 2009
Citizen Advocates Converge on Ohio Capitol, Urge Lawmakers to Protect Animals
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Citizens from across Ohio assembled at the state capitol today to meet with lawmakers to urge them to pass bills to protect animals. Humane Lobby Day is sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States.
"Lawmakers in Ohio will have an opportunity this session to address some of the worst abuses of animals, including puppy mills, factory farming and organized animal fights," said Dean Vickers, Ohio state director for The HSUS. "These are some of the most insidious and hidden forms of large-scale animal cruelty, and our supporters did a fantastic job of making their case to their elected officials on Humane Lobby Day."
Nearly 150 participants from 78 counties across Ohio came to Columbus for the event.
In addition to the meetings with legislators, The HSUS presented Humane State Legislator of 2008 Awards to Rep. Louis Blessing and Rep. John Domenick for their successful efforts to pass a felony cockfighting law last year in the House of Representatives. The bill did not make it through the Senate in the last session, and will be a top priority of HSUS again this year.
"I'm deeply moved being named Legislator of the Year by The Humane Society of the United States," Rep. Domenick told The HSUS. "Animals need voices who can speak for their rightful and proper treatment. I will continue to do my part by taking close looks at legislation that will do just that. In the 127th General Assembly, along with Representative Lou Blessing, we introduced a bill that would increase the penalties on animal fighting. I plan on reintroducing that bill in the 128th General Assembly and seeing it all the way to the Governor's desk."
Rep. Blessing accepted his award at Humane Lobby Day and expressed his appreciation for the work of The HSUS and Vickers. "This bill will pass this year," he told Humane Lobby Day participants.
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.