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Blogs and Stories

January 1, 2020
Corey Comstock

A Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress

When it comes to the Humane Society, I am still a newbie and have a cartload to learn so I found it enlightening when someone who inspires people for a living showed up in my world. Meet Kate MacFall, Florida State Director of the Human Society of the United States.

She’s a slender speakeasy with shoulder length hair and a wry, knowing smile. Today, at our Flagler Humane Society Town Howl, she wore raven boots and an elegant black dress while yielding reams of legislative material. She smiled at me over the bundles.

“I recognized you right away!”

Yes, I have met her before but only through the virtual portal, Skype, and here I was again, getting her technological ducks swimming in a row for her presentation to our shelter’s community. She began her address but some of the audience participants interrupted with growls over their personal perspective on pending legislation. They barked discontent concerning controversial representatives. Things have become politically intense these days, have you noticed?

But she listened attentively to each person’s grievance and offered constructive solutions to their dilemmas, even if the perspective lacked merit or even validity.

I asked her later after the forum what she disliked most about her political outreach position at HSUS. She answered without hesitation.

“Misinformation. And I’m being polite with that term.”

Yes, that’s another unfortunate part of the political mix these days too, wouldn’t you say?

She began her presentation with a recap of the beneficial legislation that phased out Greyhound Racing and then enveloped us in a whirlwind of information about worthy animal legislation. Puppy Mills, Tethering During Disasters, Shark Fins, Cross Reporting, Sexual Abuse of Animals and Veterinary Cruelty Reporting filled the projector screen with facts, figures, and images, often disturbing. Competently, she captivated her audience and inspired all of us to stand up and take action.

Kate began her career with animal activism in 1999 when she volunteered for her local animal shelter, Tallahassee Animal Services and developed a passion for ordinance and advocacy. She grew with the guidance of her mentor, Jane Parsons and in 2007 she founded the charity, Animal Shelter Foundation. She still sits on the board to this very day.

“I love it.” She told me with a sparkle in her eyes.

In 2012, she applied for the Florida State Director position at the Humane Society of the United States and landed it. Since then, she has been a driving force with the state of Florida Animal Legislation, an educator to representatives, senators, and community members as well as an inspiration to all of us.

What does she love most about her role at HSUS? She told me it was two things.

“One, inspiring and supporting animal advocates to get active and two, making positive change.”

At the Flagler Humane Society Town Howl on Sunday, she aced both.

Please join Kate and us and fellow advocates from all over the Sunshine State for the biggest day of the year for animals: Humane Lobby day in Tallahassee on January 28. See the HSUS Florida Facebook page/ event for more information.