Speaker Shekarchi honored by the Humane Society

Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi (center) accepts his Humane State Legislator award from Joanne Bourbeau, Northeast Regional Director of the Humane Society of the United States, and Bob Goldberg, who represents the Humane Society on legislative matters in Rhode Island


STATE HOUSE – The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) honored Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi with the Humane State Legislator Award for the second time due to his longtime, consistent advocacy on behalf of animals.

“Causes pertaining to animals are near and dear to my heart, and as the proud adopter of a shelter dog, Merlin, who brings so much joy to my life, I am very thankful for the Humane Society’s great work,” said Speaker Shekarchi. “This award is a tremendous honor and I will continue to advocate on behalf of animal rights.”

HSUS recognized Speaker Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) for his work to protect not only dogs and cats, but also farm animals and wildlife from animal cruelty. He has sponsored and supported numerous pieces of legislation to protect animals from abuse and mistreatment.

In 2021, Speaker Shekarchi helped to secure the passage of legislation (H-5188 SUB A) to phase out the sale of fur products in Rhode Island. He had co-sponsored similar legislation in 2020 (H-7483), but the legislative session was interrupted by COVID.

As Majority Leader in 2019, Shekarchi was instrumental in helping to pass the Rhode Island Puppy Mill law (H-6168 SUB A), which prohibits pet shops from purchasing dogs or cats from breeders who are not in good standing with state regulations, or from individuals who have any criminal violations directly related to the general well-being of animals, or from animal shelters or rescues whose licensure has been revoked. The legislation ensures that animals are provided humane care and treatment.