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Humane Society Legislative Fund announces 'There Oughta Be a Law' contest winner

October 31, 2009 |  1:15 pm

Just a Bill

A few months back, we told you about a first-time-ever contest launched by the Humane Society Legislative Fund, an affiliate of the Humane Society of the United States, called "There Oughta Be a Law."  The contest was just what it sounds like: Animal advocates were encouraged to submit their proposals for animal-protection legislation that should be on the books (but isn't).  

Folks had until Oct. 5 to submit their ideas.  A panel of judges -- Legislative Fund president Michael Markarian and an ideologically diverse duo of congressmen, Republican John Campbell of California's 48th District, who represents Orange County, and Democrat Jim Moran of Virginia -- had more than 3,500 entries to choose from. 

The winning entry, submitted by North Dakota resident Cheryl Woodcock, was announced Sunday at the Legislative Fund's Party Animal event (a network of house parties held around the country to further animal-friendly causes).  Woodcock's idea: To offer tax credits to pet owners in exchange for spaying and neutering their animals. 

In an interview with Markarian, Woodcock -- who shares an 80-acre ranch with dogs, cats, birds, sheep, horses and other animals in addition to her human family -- explained that her work fostering neonate kittens through her local animal shelter led her to develop the tax-credit idea. 

"There are always abandoned animals at the city pound," she said. "Those who don’t get adopted or rescued get put to sleep. I hate seeing that as much as I hate seeing abandoned baby animals. I think if there was a tax credit for people to spay or neuter their animals, more of them would get spayed or neutered and there wouldn't be so many abandoned animals."  

Hmmm ... makes sense to us.  From here, Woodcock will travel to Washington, D.C., to lobby on  behalf of her proposed bill. 

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: A painted production cel of "I'm Just a Bill" from Schoolhouse Rock! Credit: Los Angeles Times

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