A lot of passion and heartfelt feelings were were expressed at the West Virginia Animal Welfare Forum by the Federation of Humane Organizations (FOHO) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
One of the main purposes for the forum was to address spay and neuter assistance funds which affect animals all across the state. The rules were just passed for this fund.
“We're ready to go with that now, we just need money. So, we're hoping to come up with some ideas to raise funding for that, besides what the state is willing to put into the fund,” said Betty Burkett, President of FOHO.
The Morgantown Spay Neuter Assistance Program (M-SNAP) hosted this forum as a brief informative way to connect with like minded people.
"I think that probably all of our goals are to consolidate our efforts. We're all dealing with animal welfare on different levels at different speeds, in different areas of the state. And we need to come together and work together to have a unifying voice to deal with animal welfare,” said Nancy Young, of M-SNAP.
The Federation of Humane Organizations has compiled a book of animal welfare laws so citizens of West Virginia can be aware and well informed of specific legislation that affect the animal community.
Every other year this book is put together and distributed to commissioners, city council members, animal control officers, and anyone dealing with animals. HSUS's legislative plans for next year are to up the penalties for animal fighting.
Another concern is the commercial breeding law in the state. For inspections in puppy mills to be allowed, the county commission must set fees.
“What we're trying to do is reach out to all 55 counties to make sure that the county commissions first of all know that this is the responsibility of the commission to actually set up these fees so that the licenses can be purchased by the breeders,” said Chris Brogan, HSUS.