Meet Humane PA Coordinator Lynn Porada – who stumbled into getting politically active with Humane PA with a click of a mouse a year ago and was immediately hooked on helping build a political voice for animals in her district! Lynn’s local paper just featured her in Familiar Faces Friday in the Punxsutawney Spirit!
Humane PA: How did you learn about Humane PA and what made you decide to get politically involved?
Lynn: I was on Facebook almost a year ago and typed “humane” in the search function and Humane PA PAC popped up. I was curious, so clicked on the page, read about it, and saw a post about being a voice for animals. I clicked “like,” and that was it. A long time ago I called the police about an animal abuse situation and was advised that the abuser would get minimal fines. I asked “how could that be – that dog is near death?” The officer replied, “Unfortunately there are no laws against tying your dog outside as long as there is food water and shelter.” I knew then that I wanted to find out how to change the law, but didn’t know where to begin, thus my interest in Humane PA.
Humane PA: Shortly after joining the page, you took quite a step by arranging a meeting with your state legislator. Can you tell us about that?
Lynn: I decided to schedule a meeting with my state representative, Representative Sam Smith. It turned out that his aide, Chad Horner (a family friend), was available, which made me more comfortable and I took my friend Diane also. I introduced him to Humane PA and gave him a list of bills I hoped Representative Sam Smith would support, and how it they could improve the lives of animals. Chad was easy to talk to and explained Representative Smith’s role in the House of Representative and what steps were involved with the passing of a bill. At this meeting, I also learned a lot about our specific state legislators and why it is such a struggle to get them to support animal bills.
Humane PA: How long have you been advocating for animals and how long have you been politically active for animals?
Lynn: I have been an animal lover all my life, and can’t think of a moment when I have not had an animal. My first dog was a poodle named Sherri and my first cat was a white stray named Twinkles. Being an “advocate” came very easy to me and I didn’t even realize that I was advocating. I have been politically active for a year, and I love being involved with Humane PA.
Humane PA: Why did you decide to get involved in the political process?
Lynn: I want to make a difference for all animals, not just those in my town. There are so many ways to help animals but in order for an abuser to break the law and be found guilty for punishment on a higher level than fines, there has to be a law to break!! If we don’t pass laws, the animals, from pigeons to dogs will continue to suffer from senseless acts of cruelty. I never knew there were such horrible acts as the live pigeon shoots and it makes me angry to think about what these birds go through.
Humane PA: What do you think is the biggest challenge advocates face when trying to advocate for animals in the political realm?
Lynn: I feel the biggest problem advocates in the political realm face is getting support from their own district officials. We are going to continue to grow to be a voice for the animals. We cannot wait to focus on future legislators. We have to keep showing the current ones that if they fail to support animal protection bills, then they will take a risk of getting voted out of office.
Humane PA: What advice would you offer to someone who cares deeply about animals, but doesn’t feel they are politically savvy enough to get involved? Do they have to be ‘political’ to advocate for animals?
Lynn: My best advice is that if you are passionate about animals, keep focused on your passion and the rest will come naturally. If you vote and you want to make a better place on this earth for the animals, those two things are all you need to do to be heard. All one has to do is click “like” on Humane PA’s Facebook page, which is the first step to take. The rest of the road is paved by wonderful individuals who will guide you to learn and grow into a political advocate for animal welfare. In the beginning, I was very nervous but when it all comes down to it the only thing that matters is the welfare of the animals.
Humane PA: Thank you, Lynn, for all that you do for the animals. Your advocacy is helping the political power of the animal vote grow and the ultimate winner will be the animals! We sure are happy that you hit the word “humane” in your search on Facebook and the ultimate winners will be the animals!
Read more about Lynn in Familiar Faces Friday in the Punxsutawney Spirit.