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Former Philly DA, mayoral candidate Lynne Abraham has a soft spot for animals

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Former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham will receive the Women's Human Society's 1st every Trailblazer Award tonight for her work to protect animal welfare. (Emma Lee/Newsworks)

Former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham will receive the Women's Human Society's 1st every Trailblazer Award tonight for her work to protect animal welfare. (Emma Lee/Newsworks)

The Women’s Humane Society in Bucks County promotes the humane and compassionate treatment of animals — and has done so for 147 years.

Tonight, the society will honor former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham. She’ll receive the first-ever Trailblazer Award for her work in humane law and animal welfare.

“How we treat animals is similar to how we treat human beings,” Abraham said. “During my time as District Attorney, and even long before that as a young person, I saw how wonderful people can be towards animals but also how unspeakably cruel they can be.”

Abraham, the first woman to serve as the city’s DA, held the post from 1991 to 2010. During her tenure, she made prosecuting animal abusers a priority, including targeting those in the horse carriage industry as well as dog fighting and cock fighting.

“There was a person who had these horse carriages around Independence Hall telling people all about the history of the United States of America while failing to feed, or water, or groom their horses,” she said. “These horses were subjected to terrible abuse, starvation, beatings, and neglect. We saw how they were being treated and formed a unit in my office to deal with only animal issues.”

It was her creation of the office and her work to punish animal abusers that led to her being the inaugural recipient of the award. Abraham continues to fight for animal rights, including battling against puppy mills and the pigeon shoots in upstate Pennsylvania.

“Canned hunts like pigeon shoots using real pigeons is just cruel, stupid, and brutish,” she said. “If you wanna shoot pigeons, shoot clay pigeons.”

Abraham said every pet she has had has been a rescue animal, which at times had led to some tight quarters at home. 

“All of my pets in the last 50 years have been rescued,” she said. “Pets that people have brought to me and said ‘take care of this cat.’ At one point, I had six cats and my husband said ‘one more cat and you’re out, but the cats stay.”

To hear more from Lynne Abraham about receiving the Trailblazer award as well as how she worked with the Philadelphia Eagles after they signed Michael Vick in 2009, press play at the top of the page.

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