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March 10, 2010

Vermonters Gather at Capitol to Lobby for Animal Protection

Rep. Klein receives humane award

Animal welfare advocates from across Vermont are joining The Humane Society of the United States for Humane Lobby Day in Montpelier on Wednesday. Humane Lobby Day connects citizens with lawmakers to support animal welfare legislation. State Rep. Tony Klein is accepting the Humane State Legislator award for passing a measure to protect children and pets from antifreeze poisoning.

"Humane Lobby Day is a unique opportunity for animal advocates from across the state to meet with their legislators and work for stronger animal protection laws," said Joanne Bourbeau, Vermont senior state director for The HSUS. "The Humane Society of the United States is also tremendously pleased to honor Representative Klein and acknowledge his humane leadership on animal welfare issues."

Surgical procedures performed on dogs

Vermonters are voicing their support for H. 744, a bill to require that surgical procedures on dogs — such as debarking, tail docking and surgical births — be performed by a licensed veterinarian. Invasive surgical operations such as debarking, which involves cutting the vocal cords so that a dog is no longer able to bark normally, are often performed by puppy mill operators without painkiller.

Animal cruelty reporting

Humane Lobby Day participants are also lobbying for S. 248, a measure that would require social workers to report incidents of suspected animal cruelty. The connection between animal abuse and domestic violence has been well documented.

Live animals as prizes

Finally, H. 665 would eliminate the use of live animals as prizes at carnivals and similar events. These animals often suffer or die from inadequate care, and giving live animals as prizes trivializes the commitment of caring for a pet. The bill allows exceptions for agricultural and sporting events.

Rep. Klein honored for leadership on animal issues

The HSUS is pleased to honor Vermont state Rep. Tony Klein, D-East Montpelier, as a Humane State Legislator for 2009. Each year, The HSUS recognizes state lawmakers across the country who have initiated path-breaking animal protection legislation and advanced reform in the policy-making arena.

Rep. Klein received the award for his leadership on a bill to require a bittering agent be added to antifreeze to make it unpalatable to both pets and children, preventing suffering and death from antifreeze poisoning.

Rep. Klein worked diligently with other legislators and the antifreeze industry to ensure the bill's passage. "I am absolutely delighted and honored to receive this award," said Klein, who introduced the bill after speaking with a Montpelier resident who lost her two dogs to antifreeze poisoning. "All Vermonters care very much about animals, and this legislative initiative was an opportunity to marry caring about our pets and continuing to care about our environment. This was an easy solution to a serious problem."

Last year, state legislatures across the country passed 121 new laws for animals. The HSUS works with animal advocates and state legislators to enact laws protecting animals from cruelty, combating animal fighting, halting wildlife abuse and more.

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Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching "HumaneTV" in the App Store.

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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