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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Humane Scorecard is a Powerful Tool

After the Humane Society Legislative Fund published its new Humane Scorecard a couple weeks ago, bloggers ranging from the Baltimore Sun’s Mutts to Dogster’s For the Love of Dog Blog have commented on this resource that rates members of Congress on animal protection issues.

110_humanescorecardBut a tool is only as good as the person who wields it. The scorecard is designed to help you assess the performance of your federal lawmakers, determine whether they are representing your interests, and communicate with their offices. I hope you will not only study the scorecard, but also will take action after you do.

First, find out who represents you in Congress, and then, review their scores for 2007. If your legislators had high marks, it’s important to call and thank them, and let them know you appreciate that they are standing up for animals. If they did poorly, let them know you are watching and you expect them to do better in 2008. Mention specific animal protection measures that you want them to co-sponsor and support.

You can call the Congressional switchboard at (202) 225-3121 to ask for your representative’s and senators’ offices. You can also send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper praising or criticizing your lawmakers for their ratings on animal issues, and spread the word to your friends and family.

Finally, Congress is on spring recess for the last two weeks of March, so be sure to find out if your legislator is holding a town hall meeting or open office hours in your district. It’s a great opportunity to visit him or her in person, with the Humane Scorecard in hand, and deliver the powerful message that constituents care about public policies to protect animals from cruelty and abuse.

Email me and let me know how you are using the Humane Scorecard, and I may publish your comments on the blog.

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