Humane Society Lobby Day: Put your energy where your heart is

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Gabby DogGabby raided my email again. I found out when I saw our – er, my – name attached to 25 new animal rights petitions.

The little dear has now signed up for so many causes, she no longer needs to input address, telephone and other personal data. Charlie was helping her with that part. But now everyone knows us.

We’ve signed to protect bees from pesticides, polar bears from global warming and African giraffes from trophy hunters. We’ve asked Congress to bring the K-9 and military working dogs home after their service ends and reunite them with their battle buddies.

We’ve joined Soi Dog Foundation’s campaign to stop killing dog and cats for meat.

postcard-hld2015-register-ostrichWe’ve begged The Gap to stop selling garments made with rabbit fur and we’re narrowing in on The Cheesecake Factory, which allegedly still whips up desserts made from factory farm eggs.

And what about the National Marine Fisheries Service which has done zip to help the sea turtles endangered by shrimp trawlers? Gabby’s all over it.

This morning, Megan Bartholomay-Berreth of Fargo, ND, invited Gabby to save the beavers. Apparently, the Fargo Park District and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have hatched a plot to exterminate all the beavers along the Red River.

“Your signature could help save beavers from unnecessary deaths,” she wrote. Well, that clinched it.

In my hard-hearted moments, I suspect these petitions represent the work of copywriters paid on the penny for everyone who signs and later donates to the cause.

Some undoubtedly are. But to be fair, if signing petitions can help pets, or wild animals, live to fight another day, why be so mean to not spend 10 seconds zapping a message through cyberspace?

But I have wondered if anyone is keeping surveillance on who signs all these petitions. I mentioned this petition-signing habit to one of my old high school friends. She does the same. She also buys cruelty-free.

Do we need to register as lobbyists?

The answer came last week in another email from the Humane Society of the U.S. They invited me to participate in Humane Lobby Day in downtown Providence next week.

I’ll spend the first part of the session training to be a lobbyist. Then in the afternoon, I meet with my state representatives and ask for their support helping animals.

But no, I don’t need to register as a lobbyist. According to HSUS’s Kathryn Kullberg, that’s’ not necessary “for the amount of lobbying that you are doing (and you are not getting paid for it).”

Gabby was furious. She signs their petitions, and they asked me???

This event is humans-only, I had to explain, so the imperious Peke-a-Poo cannot attend.

But I will chronicle the whole day in an upcoming column. They have similar training in the other states, so go to for information about upcoming events in your area.

Have a tip or story idea? E-mail Margo Ann Sullivan at and  follow @The_Gabby_Dog on Twitter.


Margo Ann Sullivan
Margo Ann Sullivan

Margo Ann Sullivan is a pet columnist who has written for ZooToo, and numerous publications in New York and in New England. She’s had pets all her life, starting with a rescue collie named Lollypop. The Gabby Dog column chases the news that helps pets and people. It also chronicles the adventures of Gabby, the peke-a-poo, and Asia, the tabby cat, and their many pals, hitting the high spots between Providence, RI, and Manchester, NH.



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About Carol Robidoux 5855 Articles
Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!