Defenders of Animals plans Aug. 21 candlelight vigil

The Cranston Herald ·

Defenders of Animals Inc., which began a 43-year journey of caring for and defending the rights of animals in April of 1978, will hold its 27th annual Homeless Animals Day/Candlelight Vigil/Award Ceremony, and Raffle at the Governor Sprague Mansion in Cranston on Saturday, Aug. 21 from 7 to 9 p.m.

 The statewide organization, founded by Dennis Tabella and Patricia A. Tabella, works to defend the rights of both companion animals and wildlife through education, legal and legislative activism. 

The organization promotes adoptions made through municipal animal shelters, Rhode Island organizations that adopt out dogs and cats from Rhode Island, spaying/neutering, keeping dogs and cats up to date on inoculations, and microchipping dogs and cats.

The Rhode Island-based non-profit has endorsed pro-animal legislation on the national, state, and local levels since 1978.

The Director of Defenders of Animals, Dennis Tabella currently serves on the five-member city of Warwick Commission on updating the ordinances pertaining to animal issues and served on the former nine-member Commission to Investigate the Providence Animal Shelter. A Director from Defenders of Animals, Kim Casci-Palangio served on the former City of Warwick Rhode Island Coyote Commission. 

Defenders of Animals, Inc. has been recognized by both the entire RI House of Representatives and the RI Senate for the work that they have done on behalf of animals.

“The Homeless Animals Day/Candlelight Vigil is held in conjunction with the International Society for Animal Rights campaign and serves as an opportunity for animal advocates from around Rhode Island to band together on a special day and jumpstart new spay/neuter/adoption campaigns while rekindling existing programs in their communities that raise awareness about pet overpopulation,” said Tabella.

Over the years, Defenders of Animals, Inc., has been credited with working with the Deputy House Speaker, Rep. Charlene Lima, and former State Senator John J. Tassoni with successful legislation that banned the use of the gas chamber throughout the state and legislation that passed and resulted in mandatory spay/neuter of cats in Rhode Island. Both these efforts resulted in drastically lowering the number of cats and dogs that were systematically destroyed each year at Rhode Island municipal and private shelters. 

“Part of our mission is to find humane solutions for keeping the pet population low so that Rhode Island does not turn back to the days when dogs and cats were systematically euthanized because the shelters were full,” said Tabella

The group lobbies on legislative issues, coordinates a pet placement service, offers a low-cost spay and neuter program and does legal work through the organization’s attorney, Mark B. Morse.

A total of four awards will be given out at the event to honor individuals for going above and beyond for the sake of all animals. Musical entertainment will be provided by the Otis Read Band.

The event will be held outside and is free to the public. Luminary Bags with heart-shaped designs and flameless LED Tea Light Candles can be purchased for use at the event. You may purchase the luminary bag(s) in advance by credit/debit card online at at the donation link. The donation is $5 for each luminary.

Your name and the name of the pet that passed will be on the luminary bag and will be displayed at the event. You can take the item with you at the end of the event.

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