On the evening of Wednesday, February 20th, Widener Law’s Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
, in partnership with The Humane Society of the United States
, hosted a ceremony honoring Delaware Senator Patricia Blevins (D-Elsmere) and state Representative Earl Jaques (D-Glasgow) with the Humane Society’s Humane Legislator Award for their service on behalf of animals.
The program opened with a general welcome from Assistant Dean for Business and Administration Verne Smith, who then turned the program over to Student Animal Legal Defense Fund president Danielle DiPillo, who introduced Hetti Brown, the Delaware state director for the Humane Society of the United States. Brown presented Sen. Blevins and Rep. Jacques with their awards, and then the legislators joined Brown and DiPillo for a brief panel discussion on the development and passage of animal protection laws.
“Once I got involved in working on a policy issue involving animals, I found it the most rewarding thing I had ever done,” said Senator Blevins as she discussed how she developed an interest in animal advocacy. She also praised the people she meet while working on animal advocacy issues as passionate and wonderful people and concluded by saying, “You know that you’re advocating for creatures that can’t advocate for themselves.”
The lawmakers also discussed where ideas for animal protection legislation come from, what happens with failed legislation, and laws related to specific dog breeds, particularly pit bulls. The lawmakers also discussed the state’s Animal Welfare Task Force, which Dean Smith serves on, and the important role that the public plays in determining legislative agendas.
Discussing the key to getting legislation passed, Representative Jacques said, “The key to any legislation is education,” while Blevins mentioned the importance of persistence, observing, “If you’re persistent and you have right on your side, you will prevail eventually."Standard Disclaimer for External Links