Criticism of Hetti Brown way off base
From its opening line, it was apparent that George Roof's Nov. 1 letter would be an emotional and ill-informed rant. It quickly descends into comedy as Mr. Roof attempts to malign Gov. Jack Markell, Sen. Patricia Blevins, Hetti Brown and The Humane Society of the United States.
Far from being the wild-eyed extremists painted by Mr. Roof, the three named individuals are widely respected for their service and contributions to our state. While I do not know Governor Markell personally, he is often cited as a moderate governor known for an emphasis on sound fiscal management. Senator Blevins, president pro tempore of the Delaware Senate, has served our state honorably for years, leading legislative efforts to help Delaware citizens on a wide variety of issues, including just this year adding a seat to the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council.
Mr. Roof saves his greatest wrath - and fear - for Hetti Brown, the newly-named executive director of the Office of Animal Welfare. While Mr. Roof purports to know much about Hetti Brown, he apparently does not even know the correct spelling of her name! He incorrectly refers to her in his letter as "Hettie."
I do know Hetti Brown, both as a former colleague at Delaware Votes For Animals, which we co-founded, and as a friend. She is a caring, dedicated, intelligent citizen who has given a tremendous amount of her personal and professional time and energy to making Delaware a better place for people and animals alike.
For most of the two past years, Hetti has worked as Delaware state director for the Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal welfare organization. She helped advance legislation ranging from ending the 24-hour chaining of dogs, to protecting Delaware's wildlife from out-of-state poachers, to banning the sale and distribution of shark fins to ensure the health of our oceans. While working for the Humane Society of the United States, Hetti Brown reached out cordially and respectfully to everyone - of all political backgrounds - to build bridges, effect compromise, and help build understanding, goodwill and consensus. One of her most successful accomplishments was working with the City of Harrington, to help create a feral cat/community cat care program, so successful it has won national acclaim.
In her new position, I am certain Hetti Brown will continue to help Delaware's companion animals and ensure that the dogs and cats in our state are given every protection they deserve, and that shelters, rescue organizations, and individuals caring for them will have every resource they need.
Perhaps the underlying fear behind Mr. Roof's letter is simply that the public is increasingly taking animal protection seriously. Ghandi's famous quotation has never been more apt: "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." People today recognize that all animals deserve to be protected from cruelty.
president, Delaware Votes For Animals