With the passing of Sen. Edward Kennedy, animals—and the people who care about them—have lost an outstanding advocate and friend.
In his more than four decades in the Senate, Kennedy proved to be a strong voice for the protection of animals. Animal-friendly legislation championed by Sen. Kennedy included bills to curtail the overuse of antibiotics on farmed animals, end commercial whaling and the illegal trade in whale meat, prevent the slaughter of horses in North America, validate non-animal methods for testing products and chemicals, and raise the penalty for forcing dogs, roosters, and other animals to fight to the death from a misdemeanor to a felony.
In recent years, Sen. Kennedy’s own dogs, Splash and Sunny, were constant presences to Capitol Hill, and Kennedy authored a children’s book from Splash’s viewpoint called My Senator and Me: A Dog’s-Eye View of Washington, D.C. In the wake of evacuations following Hurricane Katrina, during which people were often forced to leave beloved companions behind, Sen. Kennedy co-sponsored the PETS Act, calling for disaster plans to include animals. “I wouldn’t leave the house without Sunny and Splash,” he said. “It’s no surprise that so many people in New Orleans flat-out refused to be rescued if they couldn’t take their pets with them.”
As a tribute to this extraordinary man, let us keep his love of animals alive and carry on his legacy of helping them by practicing kindness and compassion toward all animals every day. For more information and ideas, please visit HelpingAnimals.com.
Written by Shawna Flavell