Animal Advocates

By Sam Mazzotta

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I recently read on your website about a North Carolina county board that wanted to disallow adoptions of certain dog breeds from its shelter. The proposal was defeated thanks to a huge public outcry, but what about other rulings that don’t get as much publicity? How do we find out about them, and how can we get enough public support to stop unfair pet laws?
— Jane in Missouri

DEAR JANE: It’s great that you’re concerned and want to be more active in the area of pet legislation. The North Carolina case was a classic example of legislators (or in this case, a county board) proposing pet laws based upon popular but often inaccurate information, particularly about “bully breeds”
(pit bulls, Doberman pinschers, etc). The county board shelved its proposal after receiving tens of thousands of emails and facing a packed house of dog owners, rescuers and other advocates at its board meeting. Getting started can be as simple as an Internet search. Major organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States, the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and growing organizations like the No-Kill

Advocacy Center are good websites to start with. You often can find local chapters or local advocacy organizations through larger nonprofits’ websites. Facing down local legislators is just one facet of animal advocacy. If you want to learn more about protecting pets, pick up “Defending the Defenseless: A Guide to Protecting and Advocating for Pets,” by Allie Phillips (Rowman and Littlefield). Phillips is an attorney and animal-rights advocate, and her book is packed with information on ways you can become more active.

Send your questions or tips to, or write to Paw’s Corner,
c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.
For more pet care-related advice and information, visit

(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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