Students from the Peakview School in Walsenburg, Col., and Rooney Ranch Elementary School in Lakewood, Col., were awarded PETA’s Compassionate Kids Award from PETA Kids. This, after Colorado became the first state to designate animals adopted from shelters as the official “state pets.”
This law was conceived by the schoolchildren as part of a school project to learn about the legislative process.
The children attended a Senate committee hearing and testified in favor of the bill.
On May 13, 2013, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the children’s idea in to law. The bill’s primary sponsors were the governor himself, state Sen. Andy Kerr and Rep. Brittany Pettersen.
“The way that schoolchildren, legislators, and Colorado’s chief executive teamed up to focus attention on the crisis of animal homelessness should be emulated by states across the country,” said Marta Holmberg, PETA’s Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns. “Many animal shelters perform heroic work, and everyone who adopts an animal in need of a loving home is a hero, too.”
Roger Arellano, 14-year-old, addressed legislators at the hearing. Arellano told those present that raising awareness about the need to adopt animals from shelters is “a matter of life and death.”
Aside from honoring the school kids with the Compassionate Kids awards, PETA sent thank-you notes and vegan chocolates to the governor, Sen. Kerr and Rep. Pettersen.