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AG honored for dogged pursuit of animal cruelty cases

Just when you thought all politics was dog-eat-dog, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli — a man with both bark and bite — was honored yesterday for the service his office has given to creatures great and small.
 
Cuccinelli on Wednesday received the 2012 Humane Law Enforcement Award from the Human Society of the United States for partnering with state, local and federal agencies to pursue animal cruelty charges across the commonwealth.
 
“It’s important to be good stewards of all God’s creatures,” the attorney general told the gathering in brief remarks in the auditorium of the AG’s office on Main Street in Richmond. Cuccinelli and his family have a dog, four cats, goats and chickens at their home in Prince William County.
 
On hand for the presentation at the Attorney General’s Office in Richmond were State Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission agent Tonya Massie and her son, Dakota, 11, who adopted two dogs rescued following an arrest in Nelson County that led to charges for the illegal sale of wildlife, the illegal sale of fighting roosters, drug distribution and animal cruelty.
 
One of the dogs, “Moon” — a hound mix, also made the trip. The Massies named the other dog “Shine.”
 
Cuccinelli praised assistant attorney general Michelle Welch for her work with local agencies to educate law enforcement on the preparation of animal cases and the development of an animal cruelty and fighting curriculum to train prosecutors. The AG’s office has assisted in 80 such cases since 2009.