The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

February 28, 2013

IHS students learn to lobby for animal rights

SOPHIA — The West Virginia State Director for the Humane Society of the United States visited Independence High School Tuesday evening to discuss how to successfully lobby for animal rights.

Summer Wyatt stressed to everyone at the meeting — don’t be intimidated by government officials.

“We vote them in and we can vote them out.”

She said legislators who are seeking re-election are more likely to vote based on the preferences of the majority of the voters.  

“It’s not enough just to vote. Have a say so. Talk to your representatives.”

She posed the question, “Why work on legislation for animals?

“When we pass laws about animal rights, we’re legitimizing animal protection. There are many rules we would not follow if they were not tangible in written laws. Even if your law doesn’t get passed, it can still raise awareness.”

Although Wyatt was specifically referencing animal welfare legislation, she said these pointers can be applicable to any issue someone is passionate about.

“It’s important for you to be knowledgeable about what’s going on. Make your voice heard.”

She urged everyone to know what bills are going to be presented and to contact their local legislators and share their thoughts and opinions.

“Don’t be intimidated by the process.”

She mentioned several bills that will be presented soon, including a “puppy mill bill” that will enforce regulations beyond supplying a breeding dog with food, water and shelter. In addition to those basic necessities, the breeders must make sure the dogs get exercise, veterinary care and sign up with their county and register as a business.

“It would provide a higher standard of care.”

She also discussed a spay/neuter bill that would create a fund to decrease pet overpopulation.

Some victories over the past years include the passing of a bill requiring all pets adopted from shelters to be spayed or neutered, the banning of gas chambers for euthanization at shelters, the addition of a bittering agent in antifreeze to deter small children and animals from the harmful chemical, and cross-reporting domestic violence and animal cruelty when animals or children are present in the same home.

For more information about legislators, visit, which Wyatt said is a very user-friendly site.

She also recommended checking out, the website for the Federation of Humane Organizations of West Virginia.

For further information, contact Summer Wyatt at

— E-mail:


Text Only
Local News
  • derby dames Beckley area Derby Dames to host WFTDA team Aug. 9

    The Beckley Area Derby Dames will face off against a WFTDA-certified team, the Harrisonburg, Va., Rocktown Rollers, Aug. 9 at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • phil roop Artisans show off skills at String Band Festival

    The Appalachian String Band Festival celebrates the music of the mountains each year.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Calendar — Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

    August 1, 2014

  • VA clinic to remain closed

    The Department of Veterans Affairs Greenbrier County Community Based Outpatient Clinic will remain closed due to ongoing correction of environmental concerns. 

    August 1, 2014

  • Beckley festival seeking vendors

    Taste of Appalachia is seeking restaurants, vendors, organizations and churches to participate in the Aug. 23 event. 

    August 1, 2014

  • 080114 FRI TWV multitalented teen.jpg Only 13, Shady Spring and TWV teen has big resume

    Well-rounded is an understatement for 13-year-old Rachel McNeel. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 080114 ST.FrancisTeens.jpg Rummage sale to help teens attend WYD

    Young people at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church will be sponsoring a rummage sale at the church today and Saturday. The sale will help raise money to send the young folks to World Youth Day in Poland to meet Pope Francis.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tamarack lists weekend events

    Tamarack Events Director Kelly Elkins invites everyone to pay a visit to the Best of West Virginia this weekend for free music, a farmer’s market and live artisan demonstrations. 

    August 1, 2014

  • New River CTC celebrates move to new campus

    New River Community and Technical College personnel greeted new neighbors Thursday with cookies and lemonade as furniture was moved into their institution’s new Mercer Street campus in the former First Community Bank building.

    August 1, 2014

  • ‘Biscuit guy’ makes his mark with anthem at TWV

    The old saying “being at the right place at the right time” couldn’t be more true for Calvin Alexander. Thanks to a salad dressing bottle (and some impressive vocal skills), Alexander was invited to sing the national anthem not once, but twice, at Theatre West Virginia before the opening of “Hatfields and McCoys."

    July 31, 2014