Senator John Campbell (left) accepts his Legislative Achievement Award from Linda Huebner (center) of HSUS, accompanied by citizen's award-winner Sue Skaskiw (right).
February 23, 2005 - In a ceremony at the Statehouse in Montpelier, Senator John Campbell (D-Windsor) was presented with a Legislative Achievement Award from The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Campbell was named Humane Legislator of the 2003-2004 session in honor of his work on the passage of a comprehensive, ground-breaking animal cruelty bill.
Senator Campbell was instrumental in the development and passage of S.100, a bill designed to give humane investigators the tools they need to respond swiftly and appropriately to animals in need. Prior to the bill's passage, Vermont's animal cruelty statutes were vague and inconsistent, making it difficult to determine whether cases of suspected cruelty or neglect were actually violations of the law. With the passage of S.100 in May of 2004, law enforcement officers, humane officers and states attorneys now have clear directives that will allow them to work cooperatively with pet owners to make improvement for their animals, and remove animals from abusive situations when it's warranted.
According to Joanne Bourbeau, head of the HSUS' New England regional office, Senator Campbell has been a long-time advocate for animals at the Vermont State House. "Without Senator Campbell's vision, leadership, patience and good humor over the course of four years, this legislation never would have been possible," said Bourbeau. "The citizens of Vermont - animal and non-animal alike - are all a little safer because of his efforts. "
Sue Skaskiw of Vermont Volunteer Services for Animals was also awarded The HSUS Citizens' Legislative Achievement Award. Skaskiw has worked closely with Senator Campbell on several animal issues, including S.100. She noted that his 'can-do' attitude and sense of altruism motivate him to tackle issues because he feels they are the right thing to do, not because they will propel him into the spotlight. "Truly a leader," said Skaskiw, "John is also a friend of man's best friends."
The Legislative Achievement award recognizes citizens who have made outstanding contributions to animal protection in the legislative arena and legislators who have taken a leadership role in enacting legislation. The HSUS selected five citizens and 10 legislators as award recipients from across the country in recognition of their dedication and tangible accomplishments by working within the legislative system.
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