WEST CHESTER (October 9, 2020) – State Senator Andy Dinniman was honored this week for his work on behalf of pets and animals by The Humane Society of the United States – Pennsylvania (HSUS-PA).

Dinniman received HSUS-PA’s Pennsylvania Companion Animal Guardianship award as part of HSUS-PA’s virtual Humane Lobby Week.

A recording of the virtual event is available here: https://www.senatordinniman.com/senator-dinniman-to-receive-hsus-pennsylvania-companion-animal-guardianship

“While I am humbled by the recognition, the real heroes are the pet lovers and animal advocates across Chester County and the Commonwealth. Their tireless efforts and legislative advocacy over the years have made the difference in all our success in better protecting our animals and pets in Pennsylvania,” Dinniman said. “And our work is not done. Although I am retiring at the end of this term, rest assured that I will continue to be a vocal advocate for pets and animals as the true members of our families that they are.”

Dinniman was joined by various state and local officials, including Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, state Senator Tim Kearney, Chester County Sheriff Fredda Maddox, former state Senator Roy Afflerbach, and Mike Vereb, former state representative and current Director of Government Affairs for Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Also participating were representatives from local and regional animal rescue organizations, including the Brandywine Valley SPCA and Finding Shelter Animal Rescue.

“If the dogs of Pennsylvania could speak, they would say ‘thank you’ for your dedication and passion to improve their lives and our lives,” Redding told Dinniman said. “Every time legislation benefiting dogs comes up, you’re there.”

Vereb spoke of Dinniman’s willingness to cross the aisle and work in a bipartisan manner for both pets and people.

“Andy never worried about party, certainly not when it came to animals and pets. He approaches things from a bi-partisan nature,” he said. “And there needs to come a time, sooner rather than later, when we can forget about what chamber you’re from or what party you’re from and just do good things.”

Dr. Tom Garg of Hope Veterinary Specialists praised Dinniman’s open-mindedness in working in the legislature to solve problems.

“Andy is a very unique individual in the world of politics,” Garg said. “When I worked with him, he listened, he had an open mind, and he went forward with what he felt was the best thing and the right thing. He has consistently been a strong advocate for animals and has worried more about doing the right thing, than politics.”

Kearney said Dinniman would be missed in the legislature but noted there was still important work to be done in the remaining days of this legislative session.

“We look forward to continuing the work, even after your step aside and spend some quality time with your family,” he said.

In addition to receiving the award, Dinniman led a discussion on on-going legislative efforts to protect pets and animals. They focused on three bills:

  • Victoria’s Law (Senate Bill 44) to prohibit the sale of commercially raised dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores across Pennsylvania
  • Senate Bill 663 to increase funding for dog law enforcement through a modest increase in dog license fees.
  • Pennsylvania Good Canine Care Program (Senate Bill 1333) to provide information on rescue organizations or others who sell dogs that comply with best practices

Dinniman has been a leader in working for stronger animal cruelty laws and humane legislation in the Commonwealth, including passing “Daniel’s Law” (Act 182 of 2012), which bans the carbon monoxide gassing of pet animals and other inhumane methods of euthanization.

During his 14-year tenure in Harrisburg, Dinniman also helped pass numerous measures to increase protections for animals, including Libre’s Law (Act 10 of 2017), the Animals in Distress Law (Act 104 of 2018), the original Pennsylvania Dog Law (Act 119 of 2008) and its update, Act 38 of 2009.

In addition, he has supported and launched local initiatives benefiting people and their pets. Henry’s Helping Paws, initiated in 2014, makes deliveries of free dog and cat food to senior citizens who struggle to afford food for their pets. The program, named for the Dinniman family’s late poodle, Henry, is a collaboration between Meals on Wheels of Chester County and Animal Care Pa. Since its inception, Henry’s Helping Paws has helped dozens of seniors afford the costs of feeding and caring for their pets, preventing shelter surrenders in the process.