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September 26, 2019

ABA to host animal shelter law symposium Oct. 9 in Orlando

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2019 —  Join the American Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee for the Eighth Annual Animal Shelter Law Symposium, hosted by the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), on Oct. 9 in Orlando, Fla. The conference brings together attorneys who practice in the area of animal law, nonprofit organization, employment law, general civil litigation and municipal law, as well as board members and directors of animal shelters and animal services to discuss the trends and regulations in animal law.

Eighth Annual Animal Shelter Law Symposium  
Co-sponsored by the ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section

Wednesday, Oct. 9, from Noon to 5 p.m. ET

Florida Hotel and Conference Center
1500 Sand Lake Road
Orlando, Fla. 32809

Program highlights include:

“Privatizing Field Services: Logistical, Contractual, Policy and Legal Considerations” (12:05-12:55 p.m.) — Recent calls to privatize field services have come from the community, stakeholders and the governing body itself. Some calls for privatization arise from dissatisfaction with local government service and others from budgetary constraints. This program will explore logistical, contractual, policy and legal considerations for privatizing field services, as well as outline general issues surrounding private housing contracts and responsibilities with government agencies.

“Pets Ad Litem, and Other Innovations in Tallahassee” (12:55-1:45 p.m.) — This program will discuss Pets Ad Litem, a Tallahassee nonprofit, which has a partnership with the city wherein attorneys, animal crimes/ordinance enforcement officers and veterinarians teach a “responsible pet ownership” class. People who have received minor citations under the animal code can attend the class in lieu of fines. The idea, which is working well, is to reduce recidivism and educate people on how to take better care of their pets. Tallahassee is piloting other innovative programs that will be touched on in this presentation as well.

“Shelter Animal Transport and the Law” (2:00-2:50 p.m.) — The transport of shelter animals across the country to shelters in different cities and across state lines has become a prevalent aspect of shelter operations. Yet much of this transport is unregulated despite the many problems that may occur. Speaker Fran Ortiz, professor of law at South Texas College of Law Houston and advisor to the STCLH Animal Law Clinic in Houston, will review the current scheme regulating pet transporters and discuss potential imposition of regulatory and tort liability on both sending and receiving shelters and on the transporters themselves.

“Top 10 Reasons Shelters are Sued by Their Employees” (2:50-3:40 p.m.) — All too often, disciplined shelter employees who are ultimately terminated end up suing their former employer. Shelters often do not have robust human resource systems in place and the documentation is lacking to defend themselves. The panel will use the “Top 10” format to cover the landscape relevant to animal shelters.

“The Ethics of Representation of Animal Shelters” (3:55-4:55 p.m.) — This session will look at the interplay between the ethical issues that face animal control and shelter staff in their day-to-day sheltering responsibilities with the ethical and professional obligations of the attorney representing the client shelter. Animal sheltering can present a myriad of sticky ethical issues regarding animal welfare, adoption and euthanasia policies, dealing with volunteers and rescue groups, regulation of dogs with prior incidents of demonstrated aggression and more.

This event is open to members of the press. For media credentialing, please contact Robert Robinson at [email protected].

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.