October 04, 2017

ABA to host symposium on animal shelter law on Oct. 18 in Virginia Beach, Va.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2017 — Investigation and case preparation for neglect, cruelty and dogfighting cases; shelter animal transport and the law; dangerous dog proceedings and cats in the community will be among the topics discussed by some of the country’s leading animal crimes prosecutors during the American Bar Association-sponsored 2017 Symposium: Animal Shelter Law on Oct. 18 in Virginia Beach, Va.

Among the featured speakers for the one-day event will be Michelle Welch, senior assistant attorney general in the Virginia attorney general’s office. As the director of the Animal Law Unit, Welch is called on by agencies all over the commonwealth to act as a special prosecutor in animal cruelty and animal fighting cases. She has been appointed a special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia to aid in animal fighting prosecutions. She frequently gives advice to local law enforcement authorities and prosecutors in Virginia and across the nation.

2017 Symposium: Animal Shelter Law
Sponsored by the ABA Tort, Trial & Insurance
Practice Section’s Animal Law Committee

Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, Noon-5 p.m.

The Founders Inn and Spa Hotel
5641 Indian River Road
Virginia Beach, Va.  23464

Other animal law expert panelists include:

Fred M. Kray, Fred M. Kray PA, Gainesville, Fla.
Heidi Meinzer, Law Office of Heidi Meinzer, PLLC, Alexandria, Va.
Fran Ortiz, South Texas College of Law, Houston
Joan Schaffner, George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C.
John D. Boone, research director, Great Basin Bird Observatory, Reno, NV
Richard C. Angelo, Jr., legislative attorney, Cat Initiatives, Best Friends Animal Society, Kanab, Utah
Jane E. McBride, Illinois Humane, Springfield, Ill.

There are an estimated 14,000 shelters and rescues in the United States.  Of this number, approximately 3,350 are brick and mortar facilities and the balance are fostering groups licensed as shelters and specialty rescues. Nationwide an estimated 6.5 to 8 million animals are taken in by these facilities and organizations each year.

The program will examine:

  • General liability and litigation involving shelters
  • Many shelters are responsible for cruelty and neglect investigations, as well as dog bite and attack investigations. This program features two of the nation’s experts on cruelty prosecutions and dangerous dog proceedings.
  • Today, there is significant activity transporting animals from areas of great supply of shelter animals to urban centers, where adoption rates are high. This program looks at legal considerations shelters face in the transport of animals to better adoption markets.
  • The humane treatment of feral cats, also known as community cats, by shelters is an ongoing issue. This program includes a new twist wherein a wildlife biologist shares the platform with two lawyers with expertise in all matters cat to talk about feral cat population dynamics and best practices in controlling populations. 

This event is open to members of the press at no charge. For media credentialing, please contact Robert Robinson at Robert.Robinson@americanbar.org.

Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com for the ABA’s new feature that will cite case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

The ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section unites plaintiff, defense, insurance and corporate counsel to advance the civil justice system. TIPS is a national source of expertise in tort, trial and insurance practice and brings lawyers together to share information and speak out on issues of importance. The section has about 20,000 members and 32 general committees that focus on substantive and procedural matters in areas across the broad spectrum of civil law and practice.

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