NASHVILLE – The U.S. Humane Society in Tennessee has named State Senator Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, and Representative Janis Sontany, D-Nashville, “Legislators of the Year” for 2010. The announcement was made by Humane Society’s Tennessee Director Leighann McCollum as members from across the state attended meetings on Capitol Hill in Nashville on Tuesday.
McCollum credited Ketron and Sontany for sponsoring several important bills to help animals, calling them “a great friend to animals and the Humane Society.” Ketron was a sponsor of legislation passed by the General Assembly last year to strengthen penalties against those who are convicted of animal cruelty and to stiffen punishment against criminals who use dogs as weapons.
Ketron is also the sponsor of legislation to increase penalties against cockfighting or animal fighting pending action in the General Assembly this year. The link between animal cruelty and other forms of violence is a national concern.
“Animal fighting has other crime implications like gambling, drugs, and organized crime,” Senator Ketron told Humane Society members. “Other states like North and South Carolina have driven animal fighting, like cock fighting, to Tennessee due to increased penalties imposed in their states. We need to address this problem in Tennessee.”