Last year, two DC residents were heart-broken over how a dog was being treated, and did everything they could to help this dog and her owners. Petworth News got involved and wrote a story about Momma, the pitbull that was left out in the freezing cold, and something amazing happened. Change.
The article went viral, with hundreds of thousands of people reading and sharing the article across the country. The DC Council was flooded with emails, Tweets, and phone calls, and Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd stepped up and proposed legislation to help situations that impacted dogs like Momma. The legislation passed and became law, increasing the "minimum living conditions" of animals across the District, giving the Humane Rescue Alliance more authority to intervene when animals were being mistreated, and increasing the penalties.
The changes to animal welfare laws came quick, and it's because of the fast action of DC government and the actions of Emily Price and Sarah Yacoub, two Petworth residents who cared. The article, A frozen heart, was even in consideration for a 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Local Journalism, a humbling honor for a community news blog.
Momma herself was taken out of the District by her owner, and what became of her was never known. It's the unsatisfying part of the story.
Recognition for those who helped pass Momma's Law
On September 8th at 12:15pm on the main stage of the Celebrate Petworth Festival, right before the Dog Show, the people who worked hard to change the animal welfare laws in DC are getting awards for their efforts.
It's well-deserved recognition for Mayor Bowser and Councilmember Brandon Todd, Emily Price and Sarah Yacoub, co-founders of Momma's Law DC; Drew Schneider, founder of Petworth News; Jasmin Benab, then the community liaison for the Mayor's office, Ray Noll, VP Field Services, Humane Rescue Alliance (who sadly passed away), and will be presented by Patrick Flynn, owner of Patrick's Pet Care.
If you love a furry companion, come out to the Dog Show on Saturday the 8th and say hi to the people who helped make the lives of animals a little more safe in DC. Then stay for the rest of the amazing Festival!