Dear THLN Members,
2011 was an amazing legislative year for THLN and Texas animals - and with your help, we're planning an equally successful 2013! Not only did THLN get ground breaking legislation passed to regulate commercial dog and cat breeders in Texas, but our organization was also named the Second Most Effective Animal Welfare Organization at the local and state level by Philanthropedia, a national panel of 169 experts!
In preparation for the 2013 Legislative Session - the Board of Directors recently approved our legislative agenda. Many meetings and discussions were held regarding various animal welfare issues that need to be addressed in Texas and after lengthy deliberation, we voted unanimously to pursue the below agenda. Determining our legislative agenda is never an easy task as there are so many challenges for animal welfare in Texas. We are realistic about what we can accomplish with our limited human and financial resources and realize we must also consider the very important issues we'll most likely have to defend - as listed below.
(1) Legislation to prohibit the use of carbon monoxide gas as a means of euthanasia in Texas animal shelters, allowing only euthanasia by injection. It is time for Texas to join the ranks of many other states who have prohibited this outdated and inhumane form of shelter euthanasia.
(2) Legislation to require the Texas Department of State Health Services to enforce the existing statutes governing animal shelters in Texas including: the humane standards for quarantine and impound facilities; the training and certification of animal control officers; the required methods and protocol for the euthanasia of shelter animals; and the spay/neuter requirements for animals adopted from animal shelters. We have good laws governing our animal shelters, but there is virtually no enforcement.
Click here to view the DSHS Enforcement Fact Sheet [PDF format].
Of equal importance, THLN will also be prepared to defeat any attempt to repeal or weaken existing animal cruelty laws such as: the existing law prohibiting the slaughter of horses for human consumption; the existing law requiring registration and regulation of commercial dog and cat breeders; and the existing law requiring the registration and regulation of owners of dangerous wild animals. Lastly, THLN will monitor all animal related legislation and prepare to support or oppose the same as needed to advance the welfare of animals.
As always, legislative sessions are a series of uphill battles and our victories depend on full support from you, our members, and animal welfare advocates throughout the state. Every single animal advocate has a voice and the animals need you more than ever to make Texas a more humane state.
In closing, as some of you may know, Monica Hardy will be stepping down as our Executive Director effective June 1st. Monica has done an exceptional job during her tenure with us and intends to continue her support for THLN in a volunteer capacity. In turn, our former part-time Executive Director, Rick Bousquet, has accepted our offer of a full-time position and is already on board. Rick and Monica will be working together through this month on a smooth and seamless transition. We're excited to have Rick back and look forward to working with him.
We will keep you updated as we approach the 2013 legislative session and hope you will plan to help us achieve many more significant legislative victories for Texas animals!
For all animals,
Cile Holloway, President