Animal Welfare Institute Announces 2011 Schweitzer Awards

This is an extremely prestigious award, and it has been awarded to Richmond, Virginia’s own Michelle Welch. Without her continued work in animal welfare, the Commonwealth of Virginia would not be one of the leading states on animal welfare issues, laws and prosecutions of animal abusers! Ring Dog Rescue wants to officially congratulate Michelle on this most deserved award! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Washington, D.C. — On Monday, November 14, 2011, U.S. Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson, who heads the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, will present the Animal Welfare institute’s (AWI) Albert Schweitzer Award to three outstanding prosecutors. Michelle Welch, Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys Raj Prasad and Amy Slameka from the Wayne County (MI) Prosecutor’s Office, are leaders – indeed, pioneers – in aggressively pursuing animal cruelty and animal fighting cases and raising awareness about the need to take such cases seriously.

In 1951, Dr. Albert Schweitzer gave his permission to AWI to strike a medal in his honor to be presented for outstanding achievement in the advancement of animal welfare. In granting his permission, Dr. Schweitzer wrote, “I would never have believed that my philosophy, which incorporates in our ethics a compassionate attitude toward all creatures, would be noticed and recognized in my lifetime.”

This is the first time that AWI has honored members from this branch of law enforcement. The first honoree from law enforcement, in 1964, was, interestingly, also from Detroit: Patrolman John Mobley of the Detroit police department, who was recognized for his prompt reporting of the suffering and neglect of animals in an experimental laboratory, which led to improvements in their care. In 1965, Associate Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas received the award for his previous work as author of the first bill requiring the humane treatment of animals in research.