IFAW honors unsung animal heroes with Animal Action Award

IFAW Honors Unsung Animal Heroes with Animal Action Award
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Yarmouth Port, MA

Recognizing those who have done something outstanding for animals, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW; www.ifaw.org) today announced the recipients of its U.S. Animal Action Awards. Winners ranging from high-school teenagers to government officials will be honored at an exclusive awards-reception in Cape Cod, Massachusetts on May 22—the first time since 2007 that the awards have been given in the United States.

“The Animal Action Awards honor the unsung heroes who devote themselves to saving animals and promoting animal welfare,” said Fred O’Regan, President and CEO, IFAW.  “The efforts of these individuals serve as an example of how hard work and dedication is helping to pave the way towards a better world for animals and our shared environment.”

The 2012 IFAW Animal Action Awards recipients are:

• Stephanie Leontiev, Founder, Youth For Conservation Forum:
Leontiev, along with her fellow students at the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C., founded the Youth For Conservation Forum in February 2010. Created to raise awareness about wildlife conservation and biodiversity issues, YFCF works in collaboration with the World Bank’s Global Tiger Initiative and includes youth leaders from other U.S. schools, as well as schools in Europe and Asia.

• Paula McMahon, Advisor and Founder, Chatham High School Animal Welfare Club and the 15 Student Club Members: McMahon is the founder of the Animal Welfare Club at Chatham High School, which currently includes 15 students, aged 14-18.  Since the start of the school organization, the students have taken over the operation of the town’s animal shelter in conjunction with the Chatham Animal Control Officer. Volunteers do everything from raising the funds for animal care and any needed medical treatment, to hand’s on work to rehab the shelter building and actual animal rescue and care. The high school students are also teaching younger children some real life skills and lessons about animal welfare and responsible pet ownership – encouraging the next generation of animal welfare advocates.

• John Platt, Journalist, Scientific American’s Extinction Countdown:
Platt is the founder and writer for Extinction Countdown, a blog hosted by Scientific American magazine.  It began in 2004, as a standalone blog and was then hosted by the now defunct Plenty Magazine. It is the world's first (and longest-running) news source devoted entirely to endangered species. Platt has raised awareness of animal welfare and conservation issues among thousands of national and international audiences, having published more than 1,300 articles about endangered species climate change, trophy hunting, poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. Platt’s thoughtful articles explore not just why animal populations are diminishing, but also what is being done to protect species and address these global issues.

Jay Inslee, Former Congressman, Washington State:
Former Congressman Inslee—a current candidate for the Governor of Washington State—has been one of the strongest champions for wildlife and the environment in Congress. Inslee has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1992, working on numerous efforts promoting species protection including: introducing the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act, a bill that sought to assist in the conservation of rare cats and canids;  signed on as a cosponsor of H.R. 835, the Puppy Uniform Protection Act, a bill that would crack down on puppy mills; signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 1513, the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, a bill that would phase out the use of chimpanzees in research; and signed on as a cosponsor of a bill that would update federal penalties regarding  animal fights.  Inslee also fought to restore protections for national forests.  In March 2007, he was appointed to the 15-member Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, and in 2008, Jay co-authored, Apollo’s Fire, Igniting America’s Clean-Energy Economy.

The awards are part of IFAW’s global Animal Action Education program, which reaches more than 5,000,000 young people worldwide each year through special events and school outreach in 16+ countries, including free educator resources in eight languages. The initiative engages young people and their families to empower individual and collective youth action to help protect animals and the environment.

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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