Sunday, April 8, 2012

Guest Blog: Children 4 Horses

Straight from the Horse's Heart

by Declan Gregg~ Founder of Children 4 Horses
Nine year old Declan Gregg has become one of the children’s faces and voice behind the Pro-Horse movement to ban horse slaughter from the United States.  Many young people have written letters and are actively involved in saving the horses of the United States but Declan has turned up the volume by speaking, on his own, to his home state of New Hampshire’s Legislature and further carried his campaign on to Washington D.C..  My wife, Terry, and I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Declan and his mother, Stacie, in D.C. while speaking at Congressman Moran’s pro-horse press conference.  It was a day to remember and Declan has captured his thoughts of that day in this installation from his blog.  I highly encourage you to visit his blog at http://www.children4horses.blogspot.com and read about days one and two along with the other information that Declan has placed, there.  The children involved with the EWA letter writing campaign, Declan, Cheyenne Little, and many more give me hope for the future of not only our equine companions but for this country, as well.” ~ R.T.
Installment 2 of 3, “My Trip to DC!!!
Declan Gregg of Children 4 Horses and R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation speaking in Washington D.C. ~ photo by Terry Fitch
On Tuesday, when I woke up in the morning, I was really anxious to go testify during the press conference at noon.  I couldn’t wait to go and practiced my speech a few times in our hotel room.  My mom also told me that I had an email from Senator Mary Landrieu‘s (GA) office, asking to meet me.  I couldn’t believe that a Senator asked to meet me!  I went swimming in the hotel pool for a little while and it was all I could think about.
When my mom and I got to Congressman Jim Moran‘s office, we talked with the Congressman along with a representative from the EWA (Equine Welfare Alliance), Vicki Tobin as well as R.T. Fitch and his wife Terry, who were all there to support the Million Horse March Campaign and me.  Meeting R.T. Fitch was really cool because I was really excited to meet him since he’s been helping me so much and is another man who is fighting to save the horses.  R.T. gave me a cowboy hat that I REALLY like!  I wore it every chance I got even to the airport and on the plane home.  He also gave me a signed copy of his book, “Straight from the Horses Heart“, with a message that says, “Declan, May the Force of the Horse be With You.”
After we talked, we all went outside to the House Triangle, with some of the Congressman’s Aides to get ready for the press conference.  When I went up to testify, I felt like I could make a difference and tell people about horse slaughter and why it is wrong.  People kept walking up to hear me from all over and most of them came up when I said “horse slaughter” and had confused expressions on their faces.  That showed me that a lot of people don’t even know it happens to America’s horses.  After the press conference I talked to R.T. Fitch and we did an interview where he asked me questions and I answered them and he recorded it and automatically posted it on his blog!  Then I talked to other people at the press conference who congratulated me, including representatives from the ASPCA.  Kayla and Emma from Congressman Guinta’s office where there to support me too!  It was really awesome!
After some lunch, my mom and I went to Congressman Jack Kingston‘s office with some of the children’s letters.  He wasn’t available, so I left them with one of women in his office who tad me she would be sure to get them the letters to him and tell him about the Million Horse March Letter Writing Campaign.
Next, we went back to Congressman Guinta’s office where I met all the legislative assistants, collected their business cards, and one of them, even gave me his cell phone number for me to keep in touch!  Then one of the interns, took my mom and I on a special tour of the Capitol.  Since we were with staff, we got to go a few places other people weren’t allowed.  The Capitol building was awesome and just amazing!  We saw artwork everywhere with horses in it and I took tons of pictures of everything.
There were statues everywhere – at least one from every state.  Kayla from Congressman Guinta’s office had challenged me to find the two statues of people from New Hampshire and when I found them, I was really excited and took pictures of them.   They are John Stark, who was a Major General in the American Revolution and Daniel Webster, who was a lawyer and a New Hampshire Congressman.
A lot of the statues were really cool and I took a lot of pictures of them.  I even found one from Hawaii of King Kamehameha I, which I had my mom take a picture of me by because I am working on a big report about Hawaii for school.
Kayla also challenged me to walk into the Capitol Dome and look straight up and tell her who I saw.  When I did, I saw George Washington.
After my Capitol tour, we were invited to go to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) Washington DC headquarters to meet with Wayne Pacelle, who is the President and CEO of the HSUS and Jessica Fiengold-Liberson, federal lobbyist on horse slaughter.  We talked about ways the HSUS is helping to save the horses from slaughter and Mr. Pacelle asked me to keep working to raise awareness about horse slaughter,  He told me that he thinks what I have been doing is really great and to keep being such a great advocate for the horses.  We also talked about how there is a Faith Outreach  Program, which really interested me because we are Christians and I believe that God gave us the Earth and the animals to protect them and take good care of them.   He also told me that the “Genesis Awards” are named after the first great animal rescue – Noah’s Ark.  I really like that Mr. Pacelle gave me two books, one on horse care and a signed copy of his book, “The Bond, Our Kinship with Animals, Our call to Defend Them” with a message that says, “Declan, I’m so glad you love animals and you’re fighting to protect them!  Keep it up.  We’re with you!”   He also gave me some other information to read about the HSUS’s work to save and protect all animals and a cool horse poster.  It was really cool!
This was a great day and I felt like I made a big difference and now more people know about what is happening to our horses.  I went to bed really tired after a long and awesome day.
Click (HERE) to visit Declan’s blog and to view associated photos











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