Here’s some great news: many anti-cruelty bills are pending in the Pennsylvania legislature right now, and many more are being circulated with co-sponsorship memos. There is a real potential to positively impact on the lives of animals through public policy – just one anti-cruelty bill can spare scores of animals from suffering. But in order to get these bills moving and across the finish line into law, each of us needs to become an action hero for animals.
We cannot rest on our laurels and believe that since treating animals humanely is the right thing to do, legislators will vote for and enact anti-cruelty bills into law. Here’s what you can count on – every time there is a committee hearing or a vote, the opponents of an anti-cruelty bill will circulate action alerts and their members will respond. Prior to the Judiciary Committee Hearing last week on HB 248, the common sense and important ivory and rhino horn ban bill, the NRA sent an action alert to its membership opposing the bill. At the hearing, in questioning why he should support or care about the bill, one representative reported that he had received over 800 emails against it –although with only 9 being from his own constituents. Another representative reported receiving approximately 900 emails. Surely there are far more people in Pennsylvania who are in favor of anti-cruelty bills than those who oppose them. It is puzzling, sad and disappointing that all of us who care about the humane treatment of animals are still absent from so many issues. We need to do a far better job of speaking out on ALL animal bills, not just the ones that may interest us most.
Do you think your voice doesn’t count? THINK AGAIN! Legislators keep count of how many calls or emails they receive on a bill, and pay attention to what constituents – the people who can vote them out of job – have to say. Do you receive an action alert and put off taking action until later, at a more convenient time? Don’t- ACT NOW! Most action takes no more than a couple of minutes and we can’t procrastinate when animals’ lives are at stake.
Here’s how to be an action hero for animals:
- Share and take action on EVERY alert on social media and with friends.
- Contact your legislators by email or telephone each time asked. It takes less than 2 minutes. Really.
- Attend town halls and speak up about animal related issues.
- Get to know your legislators. Schedule a meeting at their local office to talk about pending bills. That takes some time, we know. But the payoff is huge.
- Take a trip to Harrisburg for Humane Lobby Day, this year on April 24th. Not only will you make a difference for animals, but you’ll have a lot of fun while doing so.
- “Like” Humane PA PAC on Facebook and sign up to receive our enewsletter – and ask everyone you know who cares about animals to do the same. We will let you know when and how to take action – and make it easy. We promise.
What does an action hero for animals look like? You! Let’s all be action heroes for animals.
Blog by Humane PA President, Elissa Katz
Elissa B. Katz is the President of Humane PA PAC and a partner in the law firm of Meranze, Katz, Gaudioso & Newlin, P.C. in Philadelphia. She is a regular volunteer with the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), assisting with cat care and adoption applications at an adoption site. She is also a board member of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.