SAN DIEGO — Helen Woodward Animal Center presented the 2019 “Humane Award” to District Attorney Summer Stephan on Saturday afternoon. Stephan was given the award for her work in providing justice to the voiceless and most vulnerable.

In May 2018, Stephan launched the DA’s office’s first-ever Animal Cruelty Prosecution Unit, which provides prosecutorial consistency countywide, investigative support and dedicated expertise for animal abuse cases. Since its founding, the DA’s Animal Cruelty Unit has prosecuted 53 cases for animal cruelty; nine of those cases also have domestic violence charges, six cases have child abuse charges and two have elder abuse charges along with the animal cruelty charges.

Stephan says that when animals in a home are abused or neglected, it is often a warning sign that others in the household may ne in danger. She went on to say the cases are difficult because the animals can’t speak for themselves and that’s why it’s so important that our community, our neighbors, look out and speak up.

Past recipients of the award include Bo Derek, Carrie Ann Inaba, Kristen Bell, Diane Keaton, Betty White, Jackson Galaxy, Tippi Hedren, and Linda Blair.

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