Listen Up! The Political Animal Episode #10: What does the coronavirus mean for animals?



WASHINGTON, DC, USA, March 20, 2020 / -- by Wayne Pacelle

The lives of people and animals are intertwined, and never more so than now, in the midst of a pandemic that is changing the way we live and the manner in which society operates.

The rolling crisis of the coronavirus is not something we've ever seen. Thousands have died, tens of thousands have been infected, millions have lost their jobs, and the collective losses to the assets of Americans is in the trillions. California's governor said he believes that more than 25 million will be infected in that state alone if present rates of infection hold firm.

On today's episode of The Political Animal, host Joseph Grove reserves the bulk of the discussion for an exchange with Annie Harvilicz, D.V.M., the president and chief medical officer of the Animal Wellness Foundation (AWF).

A board-certified veterinarian deeply involved in running an animal hospital and helping with indigent care of companion animals, Dr. Annie has already seen plenty of evidence of relinquishment just in the last few days due to economic hardship. People are worried about food budgets for their pets, and also the high price of medical care.

Government is not likely to help address this problem. And it's up to non-governmental animal welfare groups to step up and prevent the worst expression of the crisis.

AWF is establishing an Emergency Relief Fund to try to address this problem first in Los Angeles, and if supporters emerge, it will attempt to expand it around the country.

Please tune in to a critical discussion on coronavirus and its effect on animals.

The Political Animal podcast is a regular segment that not only delivers timely information but offers insights and analysis you won’t hear anywhere else. We’ll offer in-depth discussions of local, state, or federal policy and elections, and the effects of laws and regulations on corporations. We hope you’ll listen today, and also check out Episode 9: The Ongoing Horrors of Trapping, Episode 8: Updates on the Corona Virus and The Bear Protection Act, Episode 7: Fixing the Lethal Abuses in Horseracing, Episode 6: The Role of the USDA Checkoff Problems in Harming Animals and Family Farming in the U.S. Episode 5: Fighting a Diabolical Plan to Round Up Tens of Thousands of Wild Horses. Episode 4: Big Cats: Endangered in the Wild and in Danger as Captives in the U.S., Episode 3: Michael Vick and the Continuing Battle Over Animal Fighting, about the renewed attention on convicted dog-fighter and NFL player Michael Vick and implementation of the latest animal fighting law, Episode 2: Shark finning, horseracing, and the PACT Act that includes a layered discussion of how the committee process works and why it's so difficult to even get common-sense measures into law. If you missed our first episode, you can listen here: Episode 1: 2019 Victories for Animals.

Wayne Pacelle is the founder of Animal Wellness Action, president of the Center for a Humane Economy, and former president of the Humane Society of the U.S. who conceived the idea of the PACT Act. He founded the Humane Society Legislative Fund and prior to that, he was executive director of The Fund for Animals. The Non-Profit Times named him seven times as one of the nation’s top 50 non-profit executives, and in 2005, he was named executive of the year. Pacelle is a two-time New York Times bestselling author of The Bond, and Humane Economy.

Marty Irby is the executive director at Animal Wellness Action. Irby worked in the United States House of Representatives for Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) serving as Communications Director and Animal Protection and Agriculture Policy Advisor. He is a former president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association, where he led the charge to bring an end to the painful practice of “soring” walking horses. Irby is a Heritage Foundation Congressional Fellow, former director of equine protection and rural affairs at the Humane Society of the U.S., and native of South Alabama who grew up on a horse and cattle farm. He graduated from the University of South Alabama with a degree in Communications, attended Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., and was named by The Hill as one of nation’s Top Lobbyists for 2019.

Joseph Grove is a freelance writer and six-time recipient of awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. His background also includes hosting a radio show called Jargon on WQMF FM in Louisville, Ky., and podcasts for Bisig Impact Group and Southern Gaming and Destinations. He began dedicating his volunteer time to animal issues in 2014 and currently works as a court-appointed special advocate for children in family court in Shelby and Spencer Counties in Kentucky.

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Animal Wellness Action
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