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May 26, 2009

Louisiana Lawmakers Receive 2008 Humane Legislator Awards

The Humane Society of the United States

Each year, The Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal protection organization, recognizes state legislators across the country who have initiated path-breaking animal protection legislation and demonstrably advanced reform in the policy-making arena. The organization is pleased to announce that Louisiana state Sens. Julie Quinn, R-6, and Jean Paul Morrell, D-3, and Rep. Harold Ritchie, R-75, are Humane State Legislator Award winners for 2008.

Sen. Quinn is being honored for sponsoring and helping pass S.B. 264, which allows pets to be included under protective orders. This law protects the human and animal victims of domestic violence.

"I commend The Humane Society of the United States and for being a protector and advocate for some of God's most vulnerable creations — animals," said Sen. Quinn. "I will continue to assist this ethical and valuable organization in any way I can." 

Sen. Morrell is being honored for his work helping to pass anti-dogfighting legislation while serving in the state House of Representatives during the 2008 session. H.B. 286 increases the penalty for being a spectator at a dogfight to felony level.

"Thank you very much for this Humane State Legislator Award," said Sen. Morrell. "I'm very honored."

Rep. Ritchie sponsored and promoted an anti-puppy mill bill limiting the number of breeding dogs that can be kept at these large-scale production facilities, making Louisiana one of the first states to pass legislation curbing the worst puppy mill abuses. Additionally, Rep. Ritchie showed leadership in the area of animal fighting through sponsorship of legislation that made Louisiana the final state to end legal cockfighting, effective 2008.

"It was wonderful to work with The Humane Society of the United States," said Rep. Ritchie. "I am pleased to have been a part of passing such important legislation."

"State Senators Quinn and Morrell and Representative Ritchie have been true champions of animal protection in the Louisiana legislature," said Julia Breaux Melancon, Louisiana state director for The HSUS. "They have advanced the protection of animals in our state in a very meaningful way, and we are pleased to honor them with these awards and acknowledge their dedicated public service."

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. 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. 

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