Our mission is to end suffering for all animals, most directly by boosting the political power of the humane movement in Washington, DC and in our states. This is just one of the reasons we encourage supporters to cast a ballot in every election. Perhaps because we take a range of concerns into the voting booth, we don’t always appreciate the point, but for animals, our election of the right candidates can be a make-or-break decision.
That’s how the situation in Virginia looks now. The state is home to many animal advocates, many of whom are highly active in its politics. But it is also home to many roadside zoos, puppy mills, and other cruel operations and practices that increase the misery of animals. We’re determined to change that, and that’s why we work to elect humane candidates.
Whenever and wherever the stakes are high our team at the Humane Society Legislative Fund carefully evaluates the candidates before we announce an endorsement. Consistent with our founding philosophy, and as our record shows, it’s a non-partisan approach.
This time around, in Virginia, it was an easy call. At the top of the ticket, running for Governor, is Terry McAuliffe. During his previous tenure in that office, he signed several pro-animal bills into law. These included provisions to require licensing for breeders who sell dogs to pet stores, allow judges to include pets in protective orders for survivors of domestic violence, and prohibit the sale of dogs and cats in flea markets.
Delegate Hala Ayala is running for Lieutenant Governor. She has voted for critical legislation to end cosmetics testing on animals, bar individuals convicted of animal cruelty from being employed as animal caregivers in pet shops and prohibit public contact with dangerous captive animals in roadside zoos.
Attorney General Mark Herring, who is very familiar to animal advocates both within and outside of the state, is running for reelection. In a pioneering initiative, he launched the nation’s first Animal Law Unit within an attorney general’s office and has actively encouraged his peers in other states to do the same. Due to the complexity of animal-related criminal enterprises, which often involve thousands of animals and millions of dollars, local prosecutors often rely on the expertise of the unit’s attorneys to bring criminals to justice and to save animals’ lives.
We’ve also endorsed a slate of candidates for the Virginia House of Delegates, which includes the sponsors of some of the most consequential animal protection legislation in Virginia’s history.
Animals only win when humane candidates win—and to win in this election we ask you join us in supporting humane minded candidates like the ones discussed here, and many more—be sure to check out our full list of endorsements in Virginia.
P.S. Our local political action committee—the Humane Society Legislative Fund of Virginia PAC—is at the heart of our effort to support humane candidates in Virginia. Please consider supporting this important entity by donating to the HSLF of VA PAC today!
Humane Society Legislative Fund of Virginia PAC is the Virginia political action committee of Humane Society Legislative Fund, a non-profit organization under section 501(c)(4) of the IRS code. Donations are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.
Paid for by the Humane Society Legislative Fund of Virginia PAC, 1255 23rd St. NW, Suite 455, Washington, DC 20037