BALTIMORE– A local woman and cat will be among the honorees at the 2011 ASPCA Humane Awards in New York City next week. Caroline Griffin is an animal rights advocate, and the chairperson of Baltimore City’s Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission. She is one of the recipients of the ASPCA Presidential Service Award.
Mittens was named “Cat of the Year.” Mittens is lucky to be alive after being set on fire by two teenage boys in a Baltimore alley last January. The wounds from the attack are still visible, but she is doing much better, and lives in a loving home in Baltimore County.
Caroline Griffin says she was repulsed when she heard Mittens’ story. An attorney up until 2009, she gave up her legal career to focus on stopping animal cruelty.
“It’s hard for me to understand how people can cause so much pain,” she said. The task force she started, now a permanent commission, was the first of its kind in the country. “I’m hoping that we’ll inspire other cities because this is not a problem that’s specific to Baltimore. It’s all over the country, and it’s a crime that has not been taken seriously,” she said.
She thinks that the task force has been helping to make gains across the country to curb the problem of animal abuse. “I think people truly are offended by this crime because animals are incredibly vulnerable, and I think people are outraged when they see these types of crimes, she said.” She added that she thinks more work needs to be done.