Our furry babies we all love dearly can’t speak for themselves, so we need people in legislation to speak for them. Judie Mancuso, an animal advocate, formed Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL), a nonprofit animal welfare organization in 2007. With no paid staff, all donations go directly to their legislative campaigns. SCIL’s work relies on donations from all of us animal lovers.
On March 21, 2015 at “LOADED” a bar and restaurant venue, VIVA GLAM proudly helped co-sponsor this star studded event. An intimate affair in the private back room, with a stage and private bar, we gathered to support COMPASSION ROCKS II, a benefit for Social Compassion in Legislation.
Two bands volunteered their time and talent to entertain us. The opening act was “Nautilus,” led by Dylan Brosnan. Pierce Brosnan’s son Dylan is a talented 17 year old who has dashing movie star good looks like his father. He proved talent runs in his veins.
The headline band of Garry Beers of the hugely successful & Grammy nominated band INXS was there in top form, along with his band: Nate Morton one of the most respected drummers in the music business & has toured and recorded with Madonna, Pink, & Cher. Nate is currently on The Voice. Rafael “Hafael” Moreria is an internationally renowned guitarist & has performed with Stevie Wonder, Pink, Christina Aguilera, Steve Navarro, Tommy Lee, & shows such as The Voice, & American Idol. Jackie Tohn is a widely respected singer/songwriter featured on American Idol & Bravo’s Platinum Hit and tours with the likes of Katy Perry & Jason Mraz. Jackie also co-starred in Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Sopranos & House of Lies.
I caught up with Judie to ask her a few questions for our interested readers.
Anicia: How did you come about to start this non-profit organization?
Judie: There was a void in the legislative area for animal protection and welfare. In California alone there are approximately one million dogs and cats that enter our shelter system every year, and half are euthanized (killed). Thousands of beautiful, wonderful pets are coming through the front doors of our animal shelters that are stray, abandoned or sadly relinquished by their family. The shelters make room for the incoming animals by euthanizing mostly healthy adoptable pets that are already in cages waiting to be adopted, or reunited with their loved ones. It seemed obvious to me and anyone rescuing animals that we needed to do something bigger than just adoption efforts, such as: creating new laws curbing unwanted pets by spaying and neutering, and making sure lost pets find their way back home by requiring microchipping.
Anicia: Can you bring awareness to the people about what your organization does?
Judie: First, we identify a problem (and there are many for animals), and then we find a workable solution. Next, we collaborate with legislators and stakeholders to see what is possible regarding changing existing laws or creating a new one. We also focus on other changes to policy and creating programs that are not legislative as well. Such as the Pet Lover’s License Plate, which is a specialty license plate we made possible and is available at the California DMV. About $40 of each plate will go towards free or low cost spay and neuter for families that need help providing for their pets. Pierce Brosnan did the artwork for our plate, the dog and cat on the plate is Shiloh and Angel Baby, the Brosnan’s family pets. Most people do not know that Pierce is also an artist, we are grateful to him for donating his beautiful artwork. www.PetLoversPlate.com
Anicia: What’s the most important thing you want the readers to know about what you’re doing and how they too can get involved to help?
Judie: The most important thing is to end the needless suffering and killing of animals. How they can get involved is to sign up on our email list so they will receive updates and alerts, and if they can, to please make a donation. Our email alerts are very important too. We need supporters to call or email an elected official in support of our legislation, or sometimes against some other group’s bill that may be harmful to the animals. We need your voices, we cannot do this alone. People feel that they are just “one” and cannot make a difference on their own, but our collective voice is what makes change. The animals cannot speak for themselves; we must do it for them.
Anicia: Do you have any other events coming in the near future?
Judie: Yes, we are sponsoring bills in both California and New York this year. So we will have an event in both Los Angeles and New York City before Fall 2015. Dates and places are both to be determined, so please have everyone sign up on our website and we hope VIVA GLAM will be a part of all of our events!