Chair: Daina Bray
Chair-Elect: Jane McBride
The overall theme of the Animal Law Committee (ALC) this year was “International Issues in Animal Law.”
The Animal Law Committee received the Public Service Committee Award for the Committee’s dedication to public service projects.
At the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL on August 3, 2018, the ALC awarded its 2018 "Excellence in Advancing Animal Law" to Yolanda Eisenstein for her extensive work in animal law. Eisenstein, a principal with Eisenstein Law Office, is an animal advocate with expertise in animal law and wildlife law who works to improve the lives of animals. She has been a longtime leader in TIPS and the Animal Law Committee (ALC). During her year as Chair of the ALC, Eisenstein established the ALC’s Lunch & Learn program and presented a CLE program on international trade in animals. In re role as Director with the Texas Legislative Humane Network, she helped secure significant legislative advancements in Texas to promote animal welfare. Eisenstein speaks regularly on animal issues and has written two books, “Careers in Animal Law: Welfare, Protection, and Advocacy” (2013) and “Legal Guide for Dog Owners” (2015).
The ALC held six successful CLE programs. The Annual Shelter Law Symposium, presented at the National Animal Control Association conference on October 18, 2017, discussed prosecuting neglect, cruelty, and animal-fighting cases, defending dangerous dog cases, representing shelters and rescues, and community cat and animal transport issues. Several ALC members presented.
The ALC supported the Animal Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association Vancouver Branch in putting on the Canadian Bar Association Animal Law Conference, held in Vancouver on February 3, 2018. This was the first full-day legal conference on animal law in Canada. Alongside leading Canadian animal lawyers, several ALC members spoke, including Chris Green, Rebecca Huss, Adam Karp, Jane McBride, Joan Schaffner and Megan Senatori.
De-listing the Grizzly: Perspectives of the Greater Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Litigation from Administrative, Animal, and Federal Indian Law, a webinar co-hosted by the Endangered Species Committee and Native American Resources Committee in the ABA Section of Environment, Energy & Natural Resources, was held on February 21, 2018.
Applying the Rule of Law to Protect Military Dogs, the Deserving Heroes of War, presented at the Annual Conference of the ABA Section of International Law on April 19, 2018, was co-sponsored by the International Animal Law Committee and the ALC. The presenters and attendees had a mix of military, political, academic, legal and animal advocacy backgrounds, all working to ensure that military working dogs receive the care and respectful treatment they deserve, particularly at the end of their service. Presenters included: Sgt. Ryan Henderson (Retired), Marilyn Forbes Phillips, Duke University School of Law, Richard Kehoe, State Director, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Meredith Ayan, SPCA International, Kristen Maurer, Co-Founder and President, Mission K9 Rescue and Miko, the rescued contract Belgium Malinois. Jill Mariani, New York County District Attorney's Office, moderated the panel.
Pet Snakes and Species Trafficking: The Endangered Species Act on the International Stage, was co-sponsored by the Endangered Species Committee of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy & Natural Resources. The CLE was held at the Spring Conference of the ABA Section Environment, Energy & Natural Resources, on April 19, 2018.
Animal Law for Insurance Lawyers—A Walk on the Wild Side, was held at the ABA Annual Meeting on August 3, 2018, and was co-sponsored by the Staff Counsel and Insurance Coverage Litigation Committees of TIPS.
The ALC established working groups to support HOD resolutions on the following issues: Breed Discrimination in Military Housing, Mandatory Dog Encounter Training for Law Enforcement, and Military Dog issues. The ALC began drafting possible resolutions and reports and working on building support within TIPS and the ABA more broadly.
The ALC also started discussions with the National Judicial College to develop professional development courses for judges on animal law issues of interest.
Public Service Activity
With encouragement from the TIPS Chair and the TIPS Hurricane Response Task Force, the ALC joined forces with the Puerto Rico Bar Association (PRBA) Special Commission on Animal Rights to raise funds and provide food to animal shelters affected by Hurricanes Maria and Irma in September 2017. With support and encouragement from TIPS leaders and staff, TIPS quickly raised nearly $600 in donations from TIPS leadership in attendance at the TIPS Fall Leadership meeting in Key Biscayne. Following that up with an online effort, the ALC was able to collect an additional $2000. The PRBA organized food deliveries to shelters in western and central Puerto Rico on October 22, 2018 and November 11, 2018, respectively. Together with donations raised by the PRBA, the PRBA was able to deliver more than 5,000 pounds of food.
At the ABA Midyear Meeting on February 2, 2018 in Vancouver, the ALC and the British Columbia SPCA joined Atira, a nonprofit working to end violence against women, for a public service project. Attendees assembled support packs for women being assisted by Atira and heard informative speakers about the link between animal abuse and domestic violence, and about the importance of providing shelter to the companion animals of people affected by domestic violence. ALC member Megan Senatori, founder of Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims (SAAV), was one of the speakers, along with BC SPCA cruelty investigator Marcie Moriarty and Amber Prince, staff attorney for Atira Women’s Resource Center. This project helped TIPS build connections with the YLD and was co-sponsored by TIPS Law in Public Service Committee and the ABA Young Lawyers Division.
On April 7, 2018, in Kentucky and April 8, 2018, in Tennessee, the ALC engaged in a joint public service project with Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers (HEART) to present humane education training sessions at which lawyers learned to implement programs in their local schools.
At the ABA Annual Meeting on August 4, 2018, in Chicago, IL, the ALC joined Safe Humane Chicago and TIPS Law in Public Service Committee to help socialize dogs in Safe Humane’s Court Case Dogs Program. These special dogs have “done the time but not the crime” — they are victims of neglect or abuse who have been rescued by police and animal control and are associated with criminal court cases against their abusers. Safe Humane Chicago assesses them, engages volunteers and interns to socialize and train them to be irresistible family companions, transfers them to partner rescue groups and provides them lifetime behavioral support.
Website and Webinars
ALC kept its website updated over the course of this year with upcoming events, current news stories and minutes of past meetings. Also, through the hard work of the ALC Technology Vice-Chairs, the ALC’s Facebook page was reinvigorated with regular and engaging posts, and the LinkedIn Page was restarted, adding followers to both.
The ALC had in-person business meetings at each of the 4 TIPS meetings: Oct. 12, 2017 (TIPS Fall Leadership Meeting); Feb. 2, 2017 (ABA Midyear Meeting); May 2, 2018 (TIPS Spring Section Conference); and Aug. 3, 2017 (ABA Annual Meeting). The ALC also had telephonic meetings monthly when not meeting in person. Minutes, attendance and agenda of all business meetings were created, approved and posted on the TIPS/ALC website.
The ALC Subcommittees hosted the following Lunch & Learn presentations during ALC meetings: Nov. 16, 2017: Cody Carlson of Mercy for Animals on Right to Farm laws; Dec. 14, 2017: Marcia Kramer of National Anti-Vivisection Society on the Animal Welfare Act; Mar. 29, 2018: Prof. Rebecca Huss on current legal issues relating to service animals; Jul. 12, 2018: Tara Zuardo, Wildlife Attorney at Animal Welfare Institute.
The ALC submitted an annual survey of animal law cases for the Year In Review. A law student member wrote a piece for Tort Source on our fundraising effort for animal shelters in Puerto Rico. The ALC began the planning stages for a possible book on unique legal issues that arise for animal protection organizations.
The ALC produced three robust newsletters this year—Fall (published in November 2017); Winter/Spring (published in March 2018); Summer (published in July 2018). Each newsletter featured a letter from the Chair, 2-3 substantive articles on a current animal law topic, and news and legislative updates from each of the Substantive Subcommittees.
ALC members presented at a number of law schools and state/local bar association events over the course of the year, promoting the benefits of ABA, TIPS, and ALC membership, including at: Belmont School of Law; George Washington Law School; Harvard Law School; Kentucky Bar Association Animal Law Section; Lewis & Clark School of Law; New Mexico State Bar; Notre Dame Law School; Stanford Law School; and University of Washington Law School.
The ALC actively recruited students as co-chairs for subcommittees and retained student co-chairs for Companion Animal, International, Policy & Alliances and Wildlife subcommittees. Further, the Committee created a substantive project to give law students research and writing opportunities in coordination with the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. The project involves researching, by state, the animal cruelty statute, and case law and then revising the state cruelty summaries posted on their website. This year five students volunteered for the project and completed eleven state summaries.
The ALC has a 5-year Chair succession plan in place (through 2023), and leaders in the chain of succession have attended TIPS meetings and ALC calls.
The ALC Chair issued a letter to all members at the start of the year, and our Membership Chair reached out to new and recently dropped members. The Committee issued informative emails to ALC members on a regular basis throughout the year, highlighting upcoming events, meeting agendas and ways to get involved. ALC leaders topped the “Leader Board” in recruiting new members to TIPS this year, and the membership of the Committee has grown. The ALC drafted a membership survey that will be issued before the end of the year.
The ALC’s Diversity Vice Chair worked on considering how to promote diversity in the Committee and in the animal advocacy movement more generally and is planning a Lunch & Learn program with a speaker from a group that promotes diverse leadership in the animal advocacy movement. Our Committee and Committee leadership are diverse and foster a welcoming environment.