A Legacy of Championing Animal Protection

Throughout my decade in public office, I have championed animal rights and animal welfare.  As a State Senator, I have worked closely with my friends at the Humane Society to work for strong policies of animal protection.

I have sponsored and fought for bills to:

  • Make animal abusers pay the cost of care for abused and seized animals;
  • Expand domestic violence protective orders to include pets, who are often targeted      for violence to further intimidate and terrorize victims of domestic abuse;
  • Prohibit dog breed discrimination;
  • Prevent animal abusers from further possessing and abusing animals;
  • Ban shark finning;
  • Protect animals from spike collars; and
  • Ban cruel and inhumane tethering of pets outside in extreme weather.

I’ve also supported legislation to crack down on the inhumane and unsafe practices of the poultry industry.  I’ve worked closely with Compassion Over Killing, which is located in Montgomery County, on promoting more humane practices in factory farms and greater public consciousness about the public health and environmental effects of excessive reliance on meat.  Indeed, my spontaneous proposal for a Maryland VegWeek (during which participants take a 7-day vacation from meat) led my friends at Compassion Over Killing to launch their highly successful US VegWeek in which politicians at all levels from across the country take a weeklong meat-free pledge to explore the virtues of reducing meat consumption.

I’ve regularly spoken at animal protection events, including the DC VegFest and Compassion Over Killing fundraisers, and I’m really honored to have had the Humane Society’s CEO and President Wayne Pacelle come speak, in his personal capacity, at a reelection rally of mine.

While I’ve been proud to be a voice for animals in Annapolis, I’m eager to take the fight for public policy changes to the national level.  If I am elected to Congress, the animal rights and welfare movement will have a stalwart ally on Capitol Hill, including on the major battles against horse slaughter, inhumane and wasteful animal experimentation, and the abuse of our nation’s wildlife.  Also, our family has two dogs—Zola and Potter, who is a recent adoptee from the Washington Animal Rescue League—and I will always champion the fair and humane treatment of domestic pets.

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