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March 14, 2011

Animal Advocates Lobby New Jersey Lawmakers for Humane Legislation

The HSUS and ASPCA urge support for domestic violence and dogfighting legislation

Citizens from across New Jersey participating in Humane Lobby Day 2011 will meet with lawmakers Monday at the capitol to urge them to pass S540, which would authorize courts to include animals in domestic violence restraining orders. 

Citizen advocates will also be asking legislators to support S539, which would establish crimes of dog fighting and designate as a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) violation the act of serving as a leader of a dog fighting network. 

The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), and the Animal Welfare Institute are sponsoring Humane Lobby Day. 

“Abusers target family pets to ensure submission,” said Kathleen Schatzmann, New Jersey state director for The HSUS. “Unless courts include pets in domestic violence orders of protection, many people feel they have no alternative but to remain in violent households. Including pets in domestic violence restraining orders is a critical step toward combating the cycle of interpersonal violence.” 

“It’s important for lawmakers to hear from their constituents,” said Debora Bresch, senior director of Government Relations for the ASPCA. “We hope our supporters will use the information they obtain today throughout the year and continue to impress upon legislators their commitment to enacting stronger laws to protect animals from cruelty.” 

Humane Lobby Day 2011 featured several notable speakers, including Richard Yocum, New Jersey SPCA president, who discussed his experience investigating domestic violence cases; Anne Ciemnecki, president of Seer Farms who detailed the organization’s involvement in caring for animals impacted by domestic violence; and a survivor of domestic violence who shared her personal experience growing up in a violent household where members of her family were abused, including the family’s pets. 

Last year, state legislatures across the country passed nearly 100 new laws to protect animals. The HSUS and the ASPCA work 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

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org. To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/aspca. To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to http://www.twitter.com/aspca

Animal Welfare Institute was founded in 1951 and is dedicated to alleviating suffering inflicted on animals by humans.  

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