National Council for Animal Protection Working Together to Promote

the Well-Being of All Animals

Belton Mouras Grassroots Leadership Award

The nomination period for the 2016 Belton Mouras Grassroots Leadership Award has now closed. The NCAP membership has voted and selected the winner, and the winner will be officially announced at the 2016 Summit for the Animals!

Read about this year’s nominees.

Nomination Details

In 2012, the National Council for Animal Protection (NCAP) announced the first Grassroots Leadership Award, recognizing exceptional contributions to animal protection. The annual award is presented to an individual who demonstrates leadership, advances respect, compassion and justice for animals, and whose actions exemplify the Code of Ethics of the NCAP.

The Executive Board of the NCAP oversees an annual award cycle, which includes actively seeking nominations of worthy candidates from member organizations of the NCAP. The NCAP may select up to two awardees per year. Nominations can only be made by NCAP member organizations and nominations should be brief and include the following information:

  • name of nominating organization and contact information; and
  • name of candidate (please limit to one nominee);
  • affiliation, if any;
  • highlight specific effort, activity, innovation or success (either completed or ongoing) to be honored and its realized or potential impact on animals;
  • background information (e.g. news coverage and / or other public awareness, legislation passed, animals rescued, other);
  • description of the role played by the candidate in this activity and her / his leadership qualities that promise continued progress in the future;
  • description of how this nominee’s actions reflect the values of the NCAP’s Code of Ethics; and
  • information concerning any affiliation or relationship between the nominating organization and their nominee.

The Executive Board will put nominees to a vote by NCAP members the week of May 9. The winner will be announced at the Summit for the Animals on June 16 in Arlington, D.C. The awardee(s) are invited to attend the annual meeting of the NCAP, all expenses paid, and awarded a $500 honorarium.

Eligible activities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • fostering cooperation among animal advocates and organizations;
  • increasing awareness of the plight of specific animals;
  • promoting credible scholarship of animal issues;
  • rescue efforts on behalf of animals in need;
  • dissemination of a compelling educational message;
  • effective legal or legislative advocacy on behalf of animals; and
  • affecting responsible corporate policies on behalf of animals.

Past Award Recipients

2015 – Aysha Akhtar, MD, MPH, Author of Animals and Public Health: Why treating animals better is critical to human welfare and speaker at TEDx Foggy Bottom

Dr. Akhtar, a double Board-certified neurologist and preventive medicine/public health specialist, has made it her personal mission to link the benefits of animal protection to human and animal welfare and health. She explored this link in her book Animals and Public Health: Why treating animals better is critical to human welfare and has spoken about this link in her TED talk. She has been interviewed by major media and appeared in Morgan Spurlock’s “30 Days” television series and on Nick News. Her writing has appeared in numerous distinguished academic journals, as well as in popular news as a Huffington Post blogger where she writes mainly on animal experimentation. She is also a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics and currently serves as Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps at the Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She is a graduate of the Eastern Virginia Medical School and the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, and completed her residencies at the North Carolina Medical School in Chapel Hill.

2014 – Marc Johnson, Founder and CEO, Foster Parrots Ltd.

Marc Johnson has been a pioneer in the field of parrot protection and avian welfare, a path he began after becoming a guardian for two parrots in the early 80’s. Through his organization, Foster Parrots, Ltd., Marc not only provides care and sanctuary to over 500 parrots of over 50 different species, but has set the bar for caring for parrots in the U.S. Marc is an advocate for parrots as non-native captive wildlife in the U.S. and for preservation and protection in their native habitats. He has assisted organizations and individuals in providing “place, peace, and protection for captive parrots.” Marc’s patience, compassion, dedication, and spirit of collaboration make him truly, “a parrot’s best friend.”

2012 – Laura Bonar, Program Director, Animal Protection of New Mexico

Laura Bonar has been a leader in protecting a group of nearly 200 chimpanzees at the Alamogordo Primate Facility from transfer to an active research facility, effectively reversing a decision by the NIH. She and APNM garnered significant political, media, and grassroots support, which put chimpanzee research in the national spotlight. Working collaboratively with national animal protection groups, Laura is known for her grace, poise, determination, grit and compassion.