AVRAL, Alabama Voters for Responsible Animal Legislation, is a grass roots organization dedicated to improving the welfare of animals in Alabama. Their first large goal is to end euthanasia of shelter animals by gas chamber. This grotesque practice has been outlawed in many states, including the most recent bill in Georgia known as Grace's Law, named after a dog, Grace, who survived gassing. AVRAL contends that there are other, more humane ways to euthanize animals when necessary, though AVRAL also works to end unnecessary euthanasia of shelter pets by promoting responsible pet ownership.
The First of Its Kind in Alabama: New Political Action Committee Formed for Animal Welfare
Address: P.O. Box 1868 Alabaster, AL 35007
Alabama Voters for Responsible Animal Legislation (AVRAL) is a grassroots, nonpartisan political action committee that works to influence legislation and support the passage of policies favorable to the welfare of companion animals. It is the first organization of its kind in Alabama. AVRAL believes the current approach to animal welfare in Alabama is inefficient, too costly for taxpayers, and does little to address pressing animal welfare issues in the state. AVRAL seeks a greater focus on developing more low cost spay/neuter clinics to reduce overpopulation, strengthening laws against animal cruelty and neglect, banning gas chambers as a means of euthanasia in shelters, ending breed specific legislation, and instituting minimum standards of care in shelters and humane societies. AVRAL aims to accomplish these goals by forming large voting blocs of Alabama citizens who care about animals and will elect city, county and state representatives who champion animal-friendly legislation and policies.
AVRAL’s first goal is to ban the use of gas chambers as a method of euthanasia in animal shelters in the state. AVRAL is working with the Alabama Humane Federation to draft an anti-gassing bill. Gas chambers are inhumane devices into which animals are loaded in bulk. It generally takes 30-40 minutes for animals to die by this method. State Senator Del Marsh (R – Calhoun and St. Clair counties) and Representative Steve McMillan (R – Gulf Shores) are co-sponsoring the bill.
Some AVRAL members are current or former animal rescuers and know firsthand the key issues that plague Alabama’s companion animals. Millie Harris of Anniston is chair of AVRAL’s political/legislative team and is President of SAVE, a spay-neuter advocacy group in Calhoun County. Sandra Nathan, who serves as chair of AVRAL’s research/legal team, is a freelance journalist in Mobile who writes about the need for municipalities to provide shelter and refuge for Alabama’s homeless animals. Dr. Rhonda Parker is state chair and membership coordinator for AVRAL. A former wildlife rehabilitator, she founded Last Chance Dog Rescue Alabama in an effort to save homeless animals in the Jefferson/Shelby county area.
Other AVRAL members come from all walks of life: firefighters, engineers, educators, police officers, postal workers, attorneys, factory workers, physicians, nurses, military personnel, realtors, business owners, retirees, the list goes on. All share a common concern: they are tired of spending taxpayer dollars for animal programs they believe perpetuate a cycle of cruelty and neglect. Those interested in learning more about AVRAL may visit www.alabamavotesforanimals.org.
Join AVRAL in their efforts to aid Alabama's animals.