I have wonderful news that will give every animal lover in Virginia an immense sigh of relief. Delegate Lee Ware, the patron of House Bill 2482 which threatened to destroy the ability of our state to prosecute animal abuse crimes and which would have sent helpless abused animals right back to their abusers even post conviction, has announced that he is pulling the bill. He says that he will seek a study to be done on the topics of the bill over the course of the coming year. I have no doubt that any such study, if done by professionals in animal law enforcement, will conclude that the changes to existing law that were set forth in this bill are highly inadvisable.
The response of our supporters to our requests for calls to be made and messages to be sent to Delegate Ware and to the members of the subcommittee before which the bill was to have been heard was massive. Everyone of you who took the time to let these Delegates know how deeply concerning this bill was to you is responsible for this great outcome for the welfare of the most vulnerable animals of all: those who are under the control of abusers. I cannot possibly thank you enough for all you did for them to send a crucial message to our General Assembly. Your message was loud and clear and it was heard. They heard that we want our state to be a place of compassion for animals and a place where their suffering is taken seriously and is appropriately redressed.
The breeders, puppy millers and pet stores who were promoting this dreadful bill have been outed for what they really are. They see the existing abuse and cruelty laws as a threat to their ability to do whatever they wish to the animals that they view as nothing more than a cash crop. If you want to see how crazy and self serving their arguments on this topic were, just take a look at the message board on the Richmond Sunlight website page regarding House Bill 2482. On that message board, you will also see the comments of Waldo Jaquith as he articulately and astutely stands up for the concerns that we share with him for the animals who are at the mercy of these people. Our thanks go to Waldo for his courage and tenacity in standing up to these bullies.
Our thanks also go to all of you who took the time and effort to make your feelings known about this assault on the only means we have to protect animals from those who would abuse them. You let the Delegates know that animals are not without a voice because they have ours and it is strong.
Robin Robertson Starr is the chief executive officer of the Richmond SPCA. To read her biography or that of our other bloggers, please click here. Before posting a comment, please review our comment guidelines. Please note that our comment policy requires a first and last name to be used as your screen name.