Meet Cile Holloway, president of the Texas Humane Legislation Network; a statewide non profit organization that by its own mission statement seeks to effect positive change on behalf of animal welfare. During its 38 year run, THLN which is also political by nature, has worked with the Texas legislature to pass dozens of animal protection measures. Holloway has been part of that swift movement to help strengthen the state animal cruelty statute.
We wanted to know more about Holloway and she was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself, THLN and the communities it serves.
Dawn Tongish: Please begin by telling us about Texas Humane Legislation Network.
Cile Holloway: T.H.L.N. Is a statewide non profit organization that works to effectuate change for hundreds of thousands of animals through the passage of animal protection laws. We are the voice at the state Capitol for untold numbers of animals throughout Texas who suffer horrific abuse and tragic neglect at the hands of callous humans. In our 38 year existence, we’ve worked with the Texas legislature to pass dozens of animal protection measures as well as defeat measures that would have proven harmful to animals such as efforts to weaken the state animal cruelty statute.
DT: What are your duties at Texas Humane Legislation Network?
CH: As the President, I have general direction of the affairs of the organization and work closely with our Executive Director and Committee chairs to make sure our efforts are successful.
DT: How did you become involved with Texas Humane Legislation Network, and why are you so passionate about the work being done at the organization?
CH: Following a national animal welfare conference in Austin in 1974 , I joined several others who were concerned that Texas state animal laws were weak – and we immediately filed for a non profit status and began our work to effectively educate the masses to the animal cruelty and abuse that existed in Texas. My mother was part of this original group – and she and my father were both compassionate, strong individuals who raised their three children teaching compassion for all living creatures.
DT: Why do you work in the non-profit sector?
CH: It’s difficult work at times, and can be very depressing seeing the animal cruelty and neglect that occurs throughout Texas. But the reward of being part of successfully getting animal protection laws passed – knowing that our work will help large numbers of suffering animals – makes the difficult, trying times worth it.
DT: It can be difficult for any non profit to pay the bills. How do you stay afloat?
CH: Because we’re a political non profit, donations are not tax deductible, making our fundraising much more difficult than that of a non- political non profit. Fortunately we have steadfast supporters who recognize the very serious need for animal protection laws– and in addition, we’re working daily to expand our membership and financial base.
DT: How can the people of North Texas and beyond help you meet your needs for 2014? What are your biggest needs?
CH: Our biggest needs are 1) funds to support our legislative efforts, and 2) people who will work with and educate their legislators to the need for animal protection laws.
DT: What is the most memorable moment in your experiences at Texas Humane Legislation Network?
CH: There have been several “memorable moments” during the many legislative sessions at our state Capitol but probably one of the most memorable would be when the Anti-Puppy Mill bill finally passed. We worked on that bill for four years (two legislative sessions) and the opposition from dog breeders was significant. This law regulates and licenses large scale breeders– mandating humane standards for those dogs forced to live their entire lives in tiny, filthy wire cages being bred every cycle. Knowing our efforts to pass this bill would finally help the thousands of breeding dogs in these facilities as well as shut down puppy mills in Texas was an amazing sense of accomplishment for many of us.
DT: What is the first thing you do when you walk into work each day?
CH: Read emails, return phone calls, and hope there are no animal cruelty cases reported that day.