April 12, 2011
Animal Advocates Lobby North Carolina Lawmakers to Protect Animals at Humane Lobby Day 2011
Citizens from across North Carolina participating in Humane Lobby Day 2011 will meet with lawmakers Tuesday in Raleigh to urge them to support House Bill 395, which would strengthen the state’s cockfighting penalties. The Humane Society of the United States is sponsoring Humane Lobby Day along with North Carolina Voters for Animal Welfare and the ASPCA© (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals©).
Attendees will urge their representatives to support HB 395, which is sponsored by Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson. HB 395 would introduce felony penalties for being a spectator at a cockfight or owning fighting paraphernalia or birds.
“Citizens of North Carolina care about the humane treatment of animals, and support legislation that would help prevent the most egregious forms of abuse against animals in our state,” said Kim Alboum, The HSUS’ North Carolina state director.
“Humane Lobby Day is a unique opportunity for animal advocates from across North Carolina to meet with their legislators and be the voice for animals,” said Ann Church, senior director of ASPCA Government Relations. “Cockfighting is inherently cruel and it’s important for North Carolina lawmakers to hear from their constituents to enact stronger laws protecting animals.”
North Carolina citizens will also ask legislators to oppose the North Carolina Agricultural Commission’s budget proposal recently submitted to the state’s General Assembly that would do away with its Animal Welfare Section. This decision would leave North Carolina’s animal shelters, boarding kennels, pet stores and rescue groups with no oversight.
The HSUS and North Carolina Voters for Animal Welfare will present four shelter directors with Shelters We Love Awards for their dedication and work to build coalitions to improve the lives of animals. Mark Balestra of Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control, Marsha Williams of Guildford County Animal Shelter, Ernie Wilkinson of Johnston County Animal Services, and Candace Christopherson of Carteret County Humane Society will all receive awards in a ceremony beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the front of the Legislation Building.
In 2010, state legislatures across the country passed 97 new laws for 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.
Humane Lobby Day 2011 started at 9 a.m. at the Raleigh Legislative Building.
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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.
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.