October 27, 2009
|Animal advocates Holly Donaldson and Perry Rosen dressed to|
impress at the HSLF's "Barktoberfest" party on Capitol Hill.
On Sunday, October 25, animal advocates in more than 35 states and the District of Columbia gathered at the Humane Society Legislative Fund's "Let’s Pass a Law" Party Animals events to find out the winner of the HSLF’s first-ever "There Oughta Be a Law" contest. The contest asked citizens to submit their concept for a new federal bill to help animals.
HSLF president Michael Markarian led the call from HSLF headquarters in Washington, DC. Markarian opened the call by discussing the importance of citizen involvement in the legislative process and how impressed he was by the more than 3500 entries that were submitted to the contest.
Joining Markarian on the call was one of the contest judges, Representative Jim Moran (D-Va.) As co-chair of the Animal Protection Caucus, Rep. Moran has been a leading champion for animals in Congress. During the call, Rep. Moran discussed the challenges in passing federal legislation and the importance of grassroots activism in ensuring that animal protection is on the agenda in Congress.
Markarian then announced the winner of the "There Oughta Be a Law" contest: Cheryl Woodcock of North Dakota. Cheryl's concept would create a small tax credit for people who spay or neuter their pets. Each year as many as 8 million dogs and cats enter animal shelters in the United States, with 3 million healthy and treatable pets euthanized simply because they do not have homes.
"Citizen involvement is a vital step in the legislative process, and it is heartwarming to see so many people who care about animals working to give them a voice on Capitol Hill," said HSLF President Michael Markarian. "There were thousands of inspiring submissions to our "There Oughta Be a Law" contest, but Ms. Woodcock’s positive and proactive idea to help end pet overpopulation stood out as the clear winner."
Cheryl closed the call by expressing her excitement in winning the contest and her dedication to protecting animals. Currently, she is fostering 4 kittens who were found thrown in a dumpster. She also works for two vet clinics and makes homemade dog treats which she sells at pet stores and local craft shows.
"I’m so happy to be the winner of the Humane Society Legislative Fund’s "There Oughta Be a Law” contest. Taking care of animals is my life and I really believe that spaying and neutering protects our pets, reduces homeless animals and is the right thing to do in our society. Thanks so much to the judges and HSLF. Now, let’s get to work and pass a law!"
As the winner, Cheryl will receive a two-day trip to Washington, D.C. that will include a meeting with HSLF staff to discuss her proposed bill, a visit to Capitol Hill to lobby federal lawmakers, and a special feature in an upcoming edition of HSLF's bimonthly newsletter Humane Activist.
>> Check out Cheryl's recent interview with her local news station, KXMB.