Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, who has been a regular presence in the State House for more than a dozen years as an advocate for several nonprofit organizations, became the Maryland State Director for the Humane Society of the United States earlier this month.
She comes to the animal rights organization after 2 1/2 years as executive director of Advocates for Children and Youth, and before that she spent five years as executive director for Common Cause Maryland, the political reform organization. Bevan-Dangel has also worked for 1000 Friends of Maryland, the conservation group.
Bevan-Dangel said she will be responsible for all state-level advocacy in Maryland on behalf of the Humane Society, as well as building a network of shelters, law enforcement personnel and volunteers. She said the organization’s priorities for the 2021 General Assembly session include a prohibition of wildlife killing contests; ending animal testing for cosmetics; and making it a crime to leave dogs unattended in extreme weather.
For now, the organization is promoting its campaign to keep animals from being stuck in hot cars. Bevan-Dangel noted that state Sen. Edward Reilly (R-Anne Arundel) introduced legislation last year that would have authorized reasonable force to remove an unattended cat or dog from a motor vehicle if emergency responders had been notified and were unable to arrive in a timely manner. The bill was voted down in the Judicial Proceedings Committee.
Meanwhile, Advocates for Children and Youth is looking for a new executive director.