February 6, 2013
Humane Lobby Day Kicks Off in Phoenix
Arizona animal advocates lobby lawmakers to protect pets and strengthen penalties for convicted animal fighters
Citizens from across Arizona converged on the state capitol for Humane Lobby Day in Phoenix on Wednesday to lobby for better animal welfare laws to protect pets and to strengthen penalties for convicted animal fighters. Humane Lobby Day is sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®).
“Advocates from across the state came to the capitol to speak up for animals and important legislation that will save lives,” said Kari Nienstedt, The HSUS’s Arizona state director. “Animal protection is a bipartisan issue that has tremendous support in Arizona, and The Humane Society of the United States urges citizens to encourage their legislators to support animal protection issues.”
“Humane Lobby Day allows citizens the opportunity to engage with their representatives in an open forum to discuss the need for animal welfare legislation to better protect the animals who cannot advocate for themselves,” said Deborah Foote, state director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Southwest region. “We were thrilled to see how many citizens came to Phoenix to make their voices heard and to lobby for stronger animal welfare laws in Arizona. We look forward to working together to ensure the successful passage of these laws throughout the year.”
Humane Lobby Day participants met with their state legislators to lobby in support of SB1167, which would add animal fighting to crimes of racketeering. The measure is sponsored by Sens. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, Al Melvin, R-Tucson, Michele Reagan, R-Scottsdale, and Rep. Phil Lovas, R-Peoria. A second bill, SB1240, would limit the sale of animals on public streets and property where the seller does not have permission. SB1240 is sponsored by Sens. Melvin, Farley, Reagan, Katie Hobbs, D-Phoenix, John McComish, R-Ahwatukee, Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, and Reps. Lela Alston, D-Phoenix, John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, and Frank Pratt, R-Casa Grande. Citizens also lobbied for HB2072, sponsored by Kavanagh, which would prohibit giving live animals as carnival prizes.
In 2012, The Humane Society of the United States helped pass 74 new laws to help protect animals.