WASHINGTON (Oct. 27, 2009)— Humane Society Legislative Fund announced that Cheryl Woodcock of Baldwin, N. D., is the winner of the first-ever “There Oughta Be a Law” contest, which asked citizens to submit their concept for a new federal bill to help animals. The contest received more than 3,500 entries from animal advocates in all 50 states.
Woodcock’s winning concept would create a 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. A financial incentive to spay and neuter pets will help reduce pet overpopulation and euthanasia, and reduce the financial burden on local municipalities that pay for animal sheltering and control.
“Every good law starts as an idea, and people who care about animals know first-hand the problems and challenges they face,” said HSLF President Michael Markarian. “There were thousands of inspiring submissions for public policy reforms to protect animals, but Ms. Woodcock’s innovative proposal to help end pet overpopulation stood out as the clear winner.”
A panel of judges including Reps. Jim Moran, D-Va., and John Campbell, R-Calif and Markarian chose the winner.
“I’m so happy to have won the Humane Society Legislative Fund’s ‘There Oughta Be a Law’ contest,” said Woodcock. “But I’m even happier that it will shine a spotlight on the tragedy of pet overpopulation and the need to support people who spay or neuter their pets.”
As the winner, Woodcock 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.
“There Oughta Be a Law” was part of the HSLF’s annual Party Animals events. A grassroots house party network, Party Animals brings people together on one night at the same time for a party with a purpose. Using tools provided by HSLF, party hosts create their own Web site, establish a fundraising goal, send invitations to friends and family and collect donations through a secure Web site.
Media contact: Heather Sullivan: 301-548-7778, firstname.lastname@example.org
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. On the web at www.hslf.org.