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FOR RELEASE UPON RECEIPT
Contact: Abigail Fota, College Relations Associate - Media, 610-740-3790

CEDAR CREST STUDENT IS DRIVING FORCE BEHIND NEW LEGISLATION

April 25th Through 30th Appointed
" Animal Abuse Awareness Week" in Pennsylvania

Allentown, PA (April 15, 2004) - For Megan Kees '05 of Shaftsbury, VT tragic tales of animal abuse and neglect are never easy to hear. Kees, a pre-veterinary major at Cedar Crest College, is not only an animal-lover; she is also determined to make a difference in society by working to change legislation to strengthen animal rights. Megan's determination paid off when House Resolution 603 was unanimously passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The resolution intends to alert the public about the seriousness of animal abuse as it designates April 25 through 30, 2004 as "Animal Abuse Awareness Week" in Pennsylvania.

Megan decided to advocate for the resolution after she had enrolled in Dynamics of Social Change, a course that helps students understand the ways in which effective social change can be brought about by concerned citizens and then challenges each student to enact some type of constructive social change. "I immediately knew that I wanted to do something to help animals," said Kees. "I came up with the idea of Animal Abuse Awareness Week and researched how Cedar Crest could be able to support legislation to enact something like this."

To introduce her idea to The House of Representatives, Megan began writing to Pennsylvania Representative Douglas Reichely. "Animal abuse is a social problem and the best way to deal with a social problem is to educate the next generation," says Kees. "By passing this resolution, I hope the public is made aware of the connections between animal cruelty and human violence. People who abuse animals are far more likely to abuse other people as well."

Megan knew at an early age that she wanted to help animals. While in the sixth grade, she began volunteering for a local shelter. During high school, she worked at a veterinary hospital and this past summer, she has worked at an emergency clinic for animals.

Megan also maintains an active role on campus as the Program Coordinator for Animals and the Environment at the Lutz Center for Community Service. As the Program Coordinator, Megan spends 10 hours each week organizing and participating in community service activities with local animal shelters and humane agencies. Service projects that Megan has organized include cleaning at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and the Wildlands Conservancy, cleaning and socializing with the animals at the Forgotten Felines and Fidos Shelter and volunteering for a Phone-A-Thon that raised over $16,000 with the Northampton County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

For more information or to interview Megan Kees, please contact the College Relations Office at Cedar Crest College at 610-740-3790.

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Abigail Fota
College Relations Associate - Media
610-740-3790
afota@cedarcrest.edu


 


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