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Katie Lisnik

Katie Lisnik is the Director of Companion Animal Public Policy at The Humane Society of the United States, focusing on raising awareness and effectiveness of pet related public policy at the federal, state and local level. Priority work includes increasing interventions for and reducing community cats populations through sterilization and vaccination programs, ending the use of gas chambers in animal shelters, ending the abusive greyhound racing industry, as well as keeping more pets in their homes and preserving a strong human-animal bond. Katie has an MS in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University; she is the Past President of the New England Federation of Humane Societies; and a former Board Member and advisor to the Maine Federation of Humane Societies.

Content by Katie Lisnik

  • Blog Post

    Bills, laws and ordinances, oh my!

    A law “on the books” has little meaning except for what it has the power to do for animals or for people.

    Policy, like cleaning protocols or a medical suite, is a tool that allows us to better the lives of animals

    I didn’t grow up interested in politics or the various debates over policy in the ‘90s. To the young me, that all sounded pretty boring and not all that relevant to my life. After all, there weren’t any laws or ordinances preventing school dances, science fairs or hanging out with friends, right?

    Times have changed, and I now see the benefits of being engaged with politics. But that change didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t happen simply because I learned the process of how policy changes happen. What changed was that I found a “why.”

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  • Magazine Article

    Don’t push the panic button on toxoplasmosis

    Because infected cats only shed Toxoplasma gondii once in their lifetimes, sterilized community cats in stable colonies present minimal risk of spreading the parasite.

    To advocate for cats, you need to separate the facts from the hype

    Decades ago, it wasn’t uncommon for pregnant women to hear that they needed to give up their pet cats to reduce their risk of contracting toxoplasmosis. More recently, detractors of trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs have capitalized on the misunderstandings surrounding toxoplasmosis to foster opposition to community cat spay/neuter efforts. So whether you’re working the intake desk at your local shelter or operating a TNR program, you need to know the facts about this disease.

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  • Blog Post

    Please, not another Lobby 101!

    Protecting dogs by ending breed-specific-legislation is one of HSUS's 2017 policy priorities for pets.

    Policy takes priority at the start of the new year

    State legislatures nationwide are starting back up, with new faces ready to make progress for animals—or take us a few steps back. Many of you know your local HSUS state director; for those who don’t, I highly recommend getting to know them, since they are on the front lines of policy work in your state and can keep you up-to-date on the latest animal-related legislative happenings.

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