Jesse White honored by Humane Society

Published Apr 11, 2013 at 2:36 pm (Updated Apr 11, 2013 at 2:36 pm)

State Rep. Jesse White accepted the Humane Society of the United States’ award for “Humane Representative of the Year” for 2012 on April 9. The award is given out annually to select state legislators across the United States who pursue meaningful legislation and awareness efforts related to animal issues.

Sarah Speed, state director of the Pennsylvania chapter of the Humane Society, presented the award to White at a ceremony in Harrisburg. Speed said White was given the award because of his local and legislative work on issues related to animal shelters.

“We are thrilled to present Representative Jesse White with our Humane Representative of the Year award for 2012 in recognition of his efforts to increase shelter adoptions,” Speed said.

White, D-Washington/Allegheny/Beaver, has been working on legislation that would provide a tax credit to state residents who adopt a dog or cat from a Pennsylvania animal shelter. White said with the economic downturn, Pennsylvania’s animal shelters, associations and rescue agencies have seen a dramatic increase in the number of abandoned and homeless dogs and cats statewide.

“I have taken a strong interest in animal-rights advocacy during my time in the legislature by supporting important reforms to the Dog Law and continually working to pass America’s first Animal Adoption Tax Credit,” White said. “One of the reasons I enjoy working on these issues is the nonpartisan aspect, which helps bring people together – pet ownership transcends political parties, which is a rarity in the highly charged political atmosphere of Harrisburg.”

White also said he is gearing up for his annual Pet Expo, a free event held in partnership with local rescue group Pet Search to allow area residents to speak with professionals about pet health, obedience training and adoption opportunities, as well as participate in a pet parade and costume contest.

“As someone who has a menagerie of furry friends running amok in my own house, I know pets are a huge part of peoples’ lives, and in some cases, the only family some people have,” White said. “If we can help people be more responsible pet owners, help reduce overcrowding in shelters by encouraging adoptions, or just bring a smile to the face of someone who wants some attention from a furry friend, why not?”

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