Humane Society Legislative Fund Endorses Ralph Northam for Governor of Virginia

Humane Society Legislative Fund Endorses Ralph Northam for Governor of Virginia

WASHINGTON (October 6, 2017) —Today the Humane Society Legislative Fund, the nation’s leading political advocacy organization for animal welfare, announced its endorsement of Ralph Northam for election as Governor of Virginia.

While serving in the state Senate, Dr. Northam introduced legislation to ban the use of gas chambers in the Commonwealth, and supported making the fighting of any animals a Class 6 felony—both measures that were signed into law. He supports legislation to ban the tethering of dogs in severe weather and for prolonged periods, and we are confident that he will appoint individuals attuned to animal welfare issues to state agencies whose programs affect animals, including the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF).

"Lieutenant Governor Northam’s distinguished career demonstrates compassion for the most vulnerable members of our society, including animals," said Mike Markarian, President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. "We urge voters in the Commonwealth who care about animals to support Ralph Northam for Governor."

In addition to advancing statewide animal protection policy, Northam has demonstrated concern for animals in his personal life, growing up on a farm and understanding the importance of proper animal care. He first met his wife, Pam, after she had taken in a pregnant stray cat, most of whose kittens unfortunately didn’t survive. Another was too weak to nurse, so Dr. Northam cared for the feline, restoring it to health. Their family has since maintained the practice of adopting pets from shelters, including their current cat, Odysseus.

Virginia is rated fifth in the nation in terms of the strength of its animal welfare policies. In addition to anti-tethering legislation and animal-friendly appointments, the Humane Society Legislative Fund is placing a priority on providing and leveraging crucial resources for enforcement against animal crimes, as well as bills to protect wildlife, ban the private possession of exotic animals, save animals from distressing roadside zoos, eliminate state funding for cruel animal experiments, and safeguard local ordinances that protect consumers and dogs against unscrupulous puppy mill dealers.

Media contact: Anna West, (240) 751-2669,


HSLF is a nonpartisan organization that evaluates candidates based only on a single criterion: where they stand on animal welfare. HSLF does not judge candidates based on party affiliation or any other issue.

The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at, on our blog at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at

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