14 November, 2015

Humane Society Hires New State Director - and - Will St. Albans Use Its New "Home Rule" Powers Humanely?

HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) Names New WV Lobbyist and State Director

In case you missed it, Heather Perkins Severt is the new Humane Society of the United States lobbyist and State Director in West Virginia replacing Summer Wyatt who resigned. 

According to the HSUS website, Ms. Severt owned a social media and marketing company prior to taking her current role as West Virginia's HSUS lobbyist and state director. Ms. Severt's email address is hmsevert@humanesociety.org

What you can do right now:
With the 2016 Legislative session right around the corner, you should start sending emails and letters to your elected legislators right now. Tell them you vote and that you support laws that protect animals. Don't be surprised if some legislators call you on the phone and ask you  if there are any specific animal protections you favor. Last year I received phone calls from Corey Palumbo, John McCuskey and Doug Skaff.

Other Animal News:
I hope to report soon on how and whether St. Albans' new status as a "home rule" city will help animals. Prior to St. Albans' attainment of home rule status,  a St. Albans city councilperson invited me to a committee meeting where animal advocates hoped to start work on an ordinance similar to a Huntington ordinance which outlaws most forms of dog tethering. City attorney Charles "Chuck" Riffee advised St. Albans City Council not to pursue animal protection ordinances for fear that anything St. Albans did to protect animals might exceed state code. Now that St. Albans has attained home rule status, that same city councilperson texted me today to assure me that efforts to strengthen and add specificity to laws against cruelty to animals will soon resume. I'll report further developments when I know about them. 

What You Can Do Right Now:
Send a letter to St. Albans City Attorney, Chuck Riffee, and tell him you support city ordinances that specify what constitutes cruelty to animals. Tell him the state code on cruelty to animals is too vague and subject to too much individual, subjective interpretation. Tell him to assist, not impede, efforts to outlaw cruelty to animals.

Write St. Albans City Attorney Charles Riffee at:

3818 Maccorkle Ave SE # 101
Charleston, WV 25304

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109 Willow Wick Dr. 
Morgantown, WV 26505 
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