OLYMPIA — Rep. Sherry Appleton has been named 2018 Humane Legislator of the Year by the Humane Society of Washington. The veteran lawmaker was honored Tuesday morning in a ceremony on the Capitol campus in Olympia.
“I’m so touched by this award,” Appleton (D-23, Poulsbo) said. “I work every day to try to make Kitsap and our whole state a better place to live, work, raise our families, and retire, but I try never to forget that we’re not the only species around.
“A society, a culture, can be judged by how it treats those with the least power: children, seniors, persons living with disabilities, and yes, our animals. I’m grateful to have colleagues in the Legislature on both sides of the party aisle who recognize this and work with me to make this a better place for all of us.”
The award was presented by Dan Paul, director of the Humane Society for Washington state. Joining Appleton for the presentation was Eric Stevens, executive director of Kitsap Humane Society. That Silverdale shelter, one of the largest and busiest on the west coast, is in Appleton’s 23rd legislative district and it is where she discovered and adopted Bear, the 130-pound Rottweiler who now shares her home in Poulsbo.
“I can’t think of any legislator who is a stronger advocate for animals and animal welfare, year after year, than Sherry Appleton,” Stevens said. “And besides being an animal lover herself, she recognizes that people love animals. Sherry’s not just advocating for animals; she’s advocating for people who love animals.”
One of Appleton’s key animal-welfare contributions as a legislator was her successful efforts to have bittering agents introduced into antifreeze sold in retail-size containers. The deceptively sweet taste of antifreeze masks the deadly poisonous effects of ingesting even a small amount – a threat to domestic and wild animals, as well as to children, when it pools in driveways and parking lots.
This year, Appleton sponsored House Bill 1095, which will require the bittering agent be placed in wholesale amounts of antifreeze as well, including the 55-gallon drums of the product used by auto dealerships, fleet operations, and many repair shops. HB 1095 got a strong bipartisan approval in the House and is now being considered by the Senate.
Appleton has represented the 23rd district continuously since 2004 and is chair of the House Local Government Committee, as well as a member of the House Public Safety and State Government committees, and the Joint Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs.
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