Animal advocates from across Texas and beyond came together in a reverential yet fun "Tribute to Skip Trimble." Dubbed the "Godfather of Animal Law," Trimble is nationally known as the force behind many of the animal-friendly legislative initiatives that have been passed in Texas in the past decade.
More than 300 folks gathered at the 7 for Parties venue in Dallas' Design District to honor Trimble, who is retiring from his position as a board member on the Texas Humane Legislation Network, the lobbying group he helped found.
"Skip Trimble is one of the prominent figures behind so many of the better-known laws passed to support animals in Texas, and we have been fortunate to have him in our corner for the last 25 years," said THLN Executive Director Laura Donahue. "The animal welfare community is indebted to him."
Attendees included fellow THLN board members Cile Holloway, Elaine Munch, Mary Spencer, and Shelby Bobosky, as well as elected officials such as Rep. Rodney Anderson, Rep. Cindy Burkett, Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia, former Dallas City Council member Veletta Forsyth Lill, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, and Alex Johnston Fritz, deputy in the Animal Crimes Unit at Denton County Sheriff's Office.
The crowd included longtime advocates and donors, including Jan Reese-Jones, restaurateurs Jack Knox and Holly Forsythe, and lawyer Claire Schwarz, plus representatives from national and regional groups such as Humane Society of the United States' Katie Jarl, PETA Foundation's Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders, Dallas Companion Animal Project's Maeleska Fletes and Susan Gregory, Humane Tomorrow's Stacy Smith and Stacy Hague, Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust's Ben Callison, ASPCA's Nancy Perry, Ragtag Rescue's Kate Larkin, and Animal Investigation & Response's Monica Ailey, Kristina Bowman, and Resa Rose, who had just returned from Houston where they were helping animals affected by Hurricane Harvey.
The event, which was also a fundraiser for THLN, included animal-themed auction items and a vegan buffet.
A video wove in testimonials from Trimble's family members and from pioneering animal advocates such as Wayne Pacelle of HSUS and PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk, celebrating Trimble's achievements.
That includes legislation like animal-friendly license plates that support spay/neuter programs; the regulation of ownership of exotic animals in Texas; and stronger licensing and regulation of breeders.
Trimble also worked to prohibit the use of carbon monoxide gas to euthanize dogs and cats in Texas shelters, and has served on numerous boards such as the Metroplex Animal Coalition, Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), and the Dallas Animal Shelter Commission, which he chaired.
He was instrumental in obtaining financial support from the City of Dallas to build a low cost spay/neuter clinic, in forming the Animal Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, and in establishing an Animal Cruelty Prosecutor in the Dallas County District Attorney's Office.