In honor of National Animal Advocacy Day (April 30), we’re running a special series on the blog this week to honor those individuals who dedicate their energies to standing up for animals. Meet our final profiled citizen lobbyist, Lisa King of Columbia, Connecticut.
Though a frequent donor to reputable animal causes, including the ASPCA, Lisa King had never been involved in advocacy work at the grassroots level.
“I've signed petitions to save the wolves of Michigan or the baby seals of Canada, or any other cause that could result in responsible legislation that protects any animal,” she says. “But I've never done anything where I was actually physically involved in something as worthwhile as [for example] trying to eliminate puppy mills.”
Then she learned the ASPCA was asking Connecticut residents to attend our "Voices for Animals Day" in Hartford last February, “I knew I had to be there,” she says.
Lisa, an operating room nurse at a local hospital, likens an animal’s vulnerability to that of a child's. “The term ‘Voices for Animals’ explains it perfectly,” she says. “The weak and the vulnerable need our protection.”
An avid animal lover all of her life, the 59-year-old has been an ASPCA member “for as long as I can remember,” she says. “I respect the ASPCA’s tireless efforts to help animals, and the ASPCA, in turn, is respected by the community.”
Lisa has two rescued cats, Manny and Dexter, from the same litter. “They couldn't be more unalike. I love my boys,” she says.
What she loves about advocacy work is being part of the solution, “instead of sitting back and hoping someone else does the job.”
She says she will never forget her first day at her state Capitol. “I felt as if I had truly accomplished something,” recalls Lisa, who traveled to Harford with a fellow lobbyist, met other like-minded advocates, and visited her state representative’s office. “The trip was absolutely worth it,” she adds. “It’s important for [lawmakers] to realize that the people who vote for them have these concerns. Who will speak for animals if we don't?”
She even admits, “I'm not a big fan of snakes, but I respect their place on the planet and would support legislation designed to protect them, too."
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