One week to go before the special election in Ohio's 5th Congressional District, we at the Humane Society Legislative Fund have announced our endorsement of Robin Weirauch to fill the seat formerly held by late U.S. Rep. Paul Gillmor.

In order to pass humane laws, we need humane lawmakers like Robin Weirauch, and voters in the 5th District who care about animal welfare should support her election. A candidate with more than a quarter-century of hands-on experience in animal protection, Ms. Weirauch is uniquely suited to understand animal welfare issues and implement solutions at the federal level. In response to a questionnaire from HSLF, Ms. Weirauch notes, "The bond between people and their pets reminds us of our responsibility to ensure the humane treatment of all animals."

In 1981, Ms. Weirauch led the founding of the Henry County Humane Society, and she still serves on its board of directors. She was the society’s first humane agent and first shelter director, and she led the organization in its acquisition and continued operation of the county’s first full-service animal shelter.

Ms. Weirauch also worked for ten years for The Humane Society of the United States, representing its Great Lakes regional office and working closely with nonprofit organizations and government agencies in four states. She gained hands-on experience with the enforcement of state and federal animal welfare laws, worked directly on large-scale dogfighting and cockfighting investigations and raids, and served as an expert witness as cruelty trials; she would bring that valuable hands-on experience to the lawmaking process for animals.

In the HSLF questionnaire, Ms. Weirauch indicated support for numerous federal bills, including legislation to stiffen penalties for dogfighting and cockfighting, to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption, to increase the safety of pet food, and to provide adequate funding for the enforcement of federal laws such as the Animal Welfare Act and the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.

The election of Robin Weirauch to the U.S. Congress would be another positive step forward for animal welfare. The humane treatment of animals is a mainstream value, and voters of all political stripes should support candidates who will work to protect animals from cruelty and abuse.