Mayor Rawlings-Blake Launches “Show Your Soft Side” Campaign to Prevent Animal Abuse and Neglect

Mayor was joined by Orioles outfielder Adam Jones and MMA fighter John Rallo.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was joined by Council President Bernard “Jack” Young, Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, MMA fighter John Rallo, members of the Mayor’s Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission, and concerned residents and business leaders to launch the “Show Your Soft Side” campaign. The campaign was developed to reduce the incidence of animal abuse in Baltimore, and features acknowledged “hard” men of Baltimore with their pets. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson is also helping with the campaign, but could not attend today's announcement.

“It is an honor to stand with so many people willing to give their time and resources to help put an end to animal abuse,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “Together, we will reach out to young people in Baltimore to tell them that abusing a helpless animal is a sign of weakness, not strength.”

The campaign was organized by local businesswoman, Sande Riesett. Working with the Commission, she conceived the campaign and brought other local businesses on board to provide in-kind donations. Donations come from the following corporate sponsors: Eddie’s of Roland Park, Fullmoon Marketing & Events, Kirk Designs, Inc., and Media Works, Ltd.

With this new campaign, the Mayor’s Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission hopes to change the mindset of young people in Baltimore who view the maiming and torturing of defenseless dogs and cats as a sign of toughness. The campaign puts forth a very different message—that “being a man” has many facets, including a soft side when it comes to animals. Research shows that people who abuse pets also commit violent crimes against people.

“Our loyal animal friends brighten our days and show us unconditional love. These creatures are more than just furry animals; they are cherished members of our families,” added City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young. “But for too many people, dogs and cats are targets rather than objects of affection. This is simply disgusting and wrong.”

For more information, please visit http://www.facebook.com/ShowYourSoftSide.

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