Awards Honor Six Animal Heroes
YARMOUTH PORT, Mass. - The International Fund for Animal Welfare today announced the six U.S. recipients of its international Animal Action Awards, paying tribute to an extraordinary group of animal advocates for outstanding efforts to protect animals and their habitats. The winners will be recognized at an exclusive reception in Santa Monica, California, on October 4th, World Animal Day -- the first time the honor has been awarded in the United States.
Additionally, the IFAW Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to the Honorable John Garamendi, Lieutenant Governor of California, for his steadfast commitment to the environment, conservation, and animal welfare throughout his service in the California legislature and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Actor and writer Ben Stein will be recognized with the IFAW Animal Advocate Award for his longstanding leadership and compassion on issues affecting animals in crisis -- from those abandoned during Hurricane Katrina to those suffering cruelty in South Korea.
"These winners are a shining example of dedication and commitment to animals," said IFAW President Fred O'Regan. "Their tireless efforts are truly inspirational. They are real animal heroes and are helping us create a better world for both animals and people."
The 2007 IFAW Animal Action Awards Recipients are:
-- Glenda Davis, Manager, Navajo Nation Veterinary and Livestock Program (Window Rock, AZ). In addition to developing and implementing an animal disease response plan on the Navajo Nation, Davis has worked to amend the Nation's 40-year-old livestock code to include an animal cruelty provision.
-- Ed Hogan, Founder, 15 Hands Horse Rescue Sanctuary and St. Francis Rangers (Hidden Valley, CA). Hogan's Family Foundation established a 22-acre sanctuary in northern California devoted exclusively to the care and rehabilitation of wounded, abused and aging horses. The Foundation also developed the Rangers program, giving disadvantaged children the opportunity to bond with the horses and learn about compassion and respect for animals.
-- Marcelo Hoynowski, Seal Campaign Activist (Clark, NJ). Since the age of seven, this 8th grader has campaigned to end the Canadian seal hunt -- promoting his message through his Web site, http://www.mypointis.net/, which generates 2,500 visitors a month.
-- Richie Moretti, Founder, The Turtle Hospital (Marathon Key, FL). Since its inception in 1986, Moretti's Turtle Hospital has successfully treated and released over 750 sea turtles, injured by fishing line entanglements, boat collisions, and man-made objects plaguing the coastal waters.
-- Congressman Nick Rahall, Chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources, U.S. House of Representatives (D-West Virginia). Currently serving his 16th term, Congressman Rahall is a champion of humane issues in Congress, supporting the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act as well as co-sponsoring the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act and the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act.
-- Steve Smith and Alayne Marker, Founders, Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary (Ovando, MT). Established in 2000, Smith and Marker's 160-acre ranch is a haven for nearly 80 rescued disabled animals. Residents are those who are the least likely to be adopted -- including blind and deaf dogs, blind horses, and blind cats.
Animal Action Week
The Animal Action Awards ceremony is held in conjunction with IFAW's 15th annual Animal Action Week (http://www.animalactionweek.org/) -- the world's largest animal-focused educational event -- which runs October 1 through October 7. The program involves more than two million young people in 15 countries, focusing on three main objectives: education, awareness and action for conservation and animal welfare. This year's Animal Action Week theme is: To the Rescue, Emergency Relief for Animals.
About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) works to improve the welfare of wild and domestic animals throughout the world by reducing commercial exploitation of animals, protecting wildlife habitats and assisting animals in distress. IFAW seeks to motivate the public to prevent cruelty to animals and to promote animal welfare and conservation policies that advance the well being of both animals and people.