History Made in West Hollywood

February 2nd, 2010 by Webmaster

Actress and Animal Activist Elaine Hendrix being presented with the 2009 Guardian Award by IDA President Elliot Katz

Actress and Animal Activist Elaine Hendrix being presented with the 2009 Guardian Award by IDA President Dr. Elliot Katz

February 1 was an historic day in West Hollywood. Very apropos that it landed on the 1st of the month, for this is the very first day, in the very first city, for the very first time, that the very first law was put into motion, banning the sale of animals from puppy mills and kitten mills within the limits of West Hollywood, California. It is the very first time in history that a community and its leaders said, “ENOUGH!”, prohibiting pet shops from profiting from the sale of  sick and abused dogs and cats bred in puppy mills and, yes, even kitten mills. This is a day the tides shifted.  Not only for the animals, but for humankind as a compassionate and humane kind.
I was there with In Defense of Animals for this monumental moment..Dozens of dedicated pro-animal activists, and other organizations from all over the nation, had dedicated weeks to protesting pet stores that sold dogs and cats. The spirits of every single person standing up in the name of injustice were there. And the silent voices of every single animal who have suffered at the hands of abusers were there. It was powerful and humbling in one full, glorious moment.
Hundreds of people wrote letters, dozens of people showed up in support, a handful of key leaders spoke, but it was five city council members that truly made the difference.  It was their uncontested, UNANIMOUS vote that has changed the game for thousands of tortured and millions of homeless animals.
This isn’t the first time West Hollywood has shown true leadership. Among numerous human rights laws that have been overwhelmingly passed, West Hollywood has been animal-friendly on several other issues like the banning of de-clawing cats and officially changing their government language to include the term “Guardian” in place of “pets.”  No city is perfect, but this one sure does come giddily close in my opinion.
There are so many people who have worked tirelessly on making this law a reality.  Of the few I personally know, I’d like to mention Ed Buck, a rescuer of golden retrievers and activist, who was instrumental in bringing this item to the attention of the West Hollywood City Council.  Carole Davis and Carol Sax with Social Compassion in Legislation who have diligently worked in West Hollywood specifically on this issue, IDA’s own Bill Dyer, Elle Wittelsbach, Pam Holt, Elizabeth Oreck, Jennifer Krause, Gavin Polone, Ben Harding, Kim Sill, Lori Golden, Bill Crowe, Judie Mancuso, Gary Kaskel, Wayne Pacelle and so many others.
Please forgive me if I left you off this list, and notify me for the future. Certainly there are many more issues we’re facing, and I want to applaud your efforts. In the meantime, take a deep breath and cross this one off the list.  We did it!  Congratulations and keep up the amazing work!

This blog was contributed by Elaine Hendrix, Actress, Animal Activist & Former IDA Board Member.