Today I was honored to present PETA’s third annual Gregory J. Reiter Animal Rescue Award to Stacey Norris, who founded and runs Houses of Wood & Straw (HOWS).
Greg and I were longtime supporters of PETA’s Angels for Animals program, through which fieldworkers go into poor communities in lower Virginia and upper North Carolina to deliver food, custom-built doghouses, and straw bedding to neglected dogs. Many people volunteer with PETA’s fieldworkers, but Stacey Norris and HOWS have gone a step further. Starting with PETA doghouse blueprints in 2008, the HOWS Project has built and delivered some 1,000 houses to dogs who live outside 24/7 in Central Virginia. Stacey and the HOWS team then return regularly to replenish the dogs’ straw bedding; to provide water buckets, food bowls, and other necessities; and to give sorely neglected dogs the only affection they’ll ever know.
The third annual Greg Award was presented at a special benefit brunch to celebrate Ingrid Newkirk’s birthday and to support PETA‘s inspiring work to stop animal tests, hosted by Tony Award-winning actor Alan Cumming at his Club Cumming in New York City’s East Village. Others in attendance included award-winning actor and animal activist James Cromwell.
Greg would be so proud of how we are celebrating his 55th birthday week!