And the Awards Go to…

If you've ever wondered whether all your calls, e-mails, and letters to federal legislators are making a difference for animals, consider this: This past week, The HSUS recognized 118 members of Congress for their support on animal protection issues. Recipients earned their awards either because they recorded a perfect score on our Humane Scorecard or provided important leadership on an animal welfare issue. You played a major role in this process every time you urged your Senators or Representative to co-sponsor a certain bill or vote a certain way. They then took action and we kept a tally.

"Grassroots activity definitely played an important role in the number of award recipients this year," said Nancy Perry, HSUS vice president of Government Affairs. "Legislators care what their constituents think, and since we keep track of their records on animal protection in the Humane Scorecard, they can share this record with people in their state or district who care about animals."

For the first half of the 109th Congress (January-December 2005), The HSUS kept track of Senators' and Representatives' votes on horse slaughter, as well as their co-sponsorship of the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, the Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS), and the Downed Animal Protection Act. We also took note of who signed on to a letter requesting increased funding for enforcement of animal welfare laws.

Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) earned the top honor, Humane Legislator of the Year. Fourteen legislators were given the "Humane Champion" award for recording a perfect score on the Humane Scorecard and taking the lead on an animal welfare issue in 2005. An additional 30 lawmakers received a "Legislative Leader" award for their leadership as a prime sponsor of pro-animal legislation, and 73 elected officials were given the "Humane Advocate" award for scoring 100 on the scorecard.

Find out if your legislators received a Humane Award from The HSUS. If they did, thank them and congratulate them for the win. Knowing that their constituents are paying attention reinforces their commitment to animal issues. If your legislators our not on our list, remind them that animal protection is a priority for you and that you hope they keep that in mind for the future.

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