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Humane Society Legislative Fund announces Sara Amundson as new president

WASHINGTON, DC (April 16, 2018)—The Humane Society Legislative Fund announces Sara Amundson as its new president, after she served 12 years as HSLF’s executive director and then as HSLF senior vice president. She has worked to build the organization’s legislative and regulatory strategy, and strengthened its commitment to the support of humane candidates for office at the state and federal levels.

Amundson succeeds Michael Markarian, the Chief Operating Officer of The Humane Society of the United States, who served as HSLF president for 13 years and now serves in the role of HSLF executive vice president.

"Sara Amundson has been a powerful force within HSLF and within the broader animal protection movement," states David O. Wiebers, M.D., chairperson of the HSLF board. "We are thrilled to have her as president of HSLF and to see her further the extraordinary work of Michael Markarian, Sara’s leadership and innovation have been and will continue to be profound assets to HSLF and its affiliates."

Amundson’s 30-year career in animal protection started with the Doris Day Animal League in 1988. Since then, she has maintained a strong presence before Congress and state legislatures, testifying on a variety of critical animal protection issues. Her work on the "retail pet store" rule brought new regulation to puppy mills, and her tireless campaign for the passage of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act led to a reduction in use of animals in chemical testing. She helped to negotiate a deal with chemical industry leaders to support the replacement of animals in toxicity testing through federal appropriations and voluntary commitments. Her work with the chemical industry also prompted a voluntarily move to include a bittering agent in antifreeze in order to discourage pets from consuming it.

Of her new position, Amundson stated, "I am honored to lead HSLF, alongside an army of committed individuals who know the value of supporting humane candidates championing animal protection policies. Together, we will advocate for all animals within the halls of state legislatures and the U.S. Congress to build a more humane society."

Currently, HSLF and its partner organizations are working to make the United States the next cruelty-free marketplace by supporting the bipartisan Humane Cosmetics Act, which has 170 House cosponsors; securing more cruelty-free pledges as a founding member of the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics’ Leaping Bunny Program; and promoting humane innovation.

Markarian said, "I am grateful to Sara Amundson for her leadership and to our entire staff of the Humane Society Legislative Fund for working to advance our critical policy and political agenda for animals, and look forward to many future advances to protect animals from cruelty and abuse.”

Media Contact: Anna West:; 301-258-1518


The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at, on our blog at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at