Politicians teach pet owners how to push legislation forward

WYOMISSING, Pa. - Animals don't have a voice, but the message they can send can still be resounding.

Take for example, Summit: a 3-legged pit bull adopted from the Animal Rescue League of Berks County.

"He had human bite marks on his face on body and a very damaged left front leg," said his owner Edna Gorby.

The vets couldn't save his leg, but today he's getting around just fine. He's a poster pup for animal abuse legislation. That was the center of discussion at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Wyomissing Thursday night; politicians teaching people how they can push the issue forward.

"Educating the people on how to go about contacting your legislators, what to do, what's going to work, what's not going to work, and how to be respectful but also get your point across," said Liz McCauley, executive director of the Animal Rescue League of Berks County.

All eyes are on House Bill 1238 -- which includes Libre's Law. Libre is a dog who was saved from a Lancaster County puppy mill last year. Officials said he had severe skin problems and was in very bad shape. Libre is fine today, but lawmakers and animal lovers hope to send a message to abusers.

"This is the most comprehensive animal cruelty legislation that's been proposed in about 40 years,"said McCauley.

Animal rights advocate and former Allentown Mayor Roy Afflerbach spoke with passion at the event.

"The FBI is now tracking animal abuse," said Afflerbach, especially in felony cases, and the reason why is they've discovered that the very same individuals who abuse animals in that fashion are likely to abuse and in fact torture and kill people."

The bill's been passed by the state House and it heads to the Senate for a vote.

"We have to be their voice," said McCauley. "They don't have one."


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