Oregon Appellate Court Extends Animal Rights

An Oregon Appeals court recently decided, in at least one case, that someone who commits a crime against an animal may be treated as though it was a crime against a person.

According to the Court record, “dozens of emaciated animals, mostly horses and goats, and several animal carcasses in various states of decay," were discovered in the yard in an Umatilla County home.

The owner of the residence was originally charged with neglect. However, the District Attorney did not proceed in the usual manner of prosecuting an animal abuse case, but charged the individual with numerous separate counts of animal abuse.

After a jury found the owner guilty of twenty separate crimes, the Trial Court Judge consolidated all of the counts into one and the State appealed the decision. 

It is interesting to note that in reversing the lower Court, that a part of the Appellate decision stated “it appears that the Legislature's primary concern was to protect individual animals as sentient beings*.”

*sentience implies the ability to experience pleasure and pain.



Bob Barker to Present Keynote Address at Future Of Animal Law Conference



I have written on numerous occasions about the monetary generosity of Hollywood celebrity, Bob Barker.

His is currently being honored for his work in the area of animal protection.

   "Bob Barker, the long-time animal advocate and beloved host of America’s longest running game show, The Price is Right, will be the keynote speaker at the national non-profit Animal Legal Defense Fund’s “Future of Animal Law” conference being held at HarvardLawSchool, Friday, April 9 – Sunday, April 11. Mr. Barker has made recent headlines with his animal advocacy by publicly urging SeaWorld to close all marine mammal exhibits permanently, funding a $1 million campaign to stop Pennsylvania’s live pigeon shoots, and  donating $5 million to Sea Shepherd, which named their new anti-whaling ship the Bob Barker in his honor."

You can see the rest of the story on Mr. Barker here.


Bob Barker Donates One Million Dollars for Animals

Bob Barker is well known as the long time host of the zany television game show, “The Price is Right.”

Screaming, hysterical people trying to guess the price of everyday and rare objects, with Barker leading the cheering of the crowd.

There is, however,  clearly another side to this T.V. pitchman.

Bob Barker's DJ&T Foundation has contributed millions of dollars to fund animal rescue and park facilities all over the country.

Established in 1995, the DJ & T Foundation is a non-profit foundation devoted to  the support of low cost spay/neuter clinics and voucher programs  throughout the United States and the District of Columbia.

Recently, Mr. Barker made news by the announcement that he was donating One Million Dollars to the University of Virginia to establish an animal law program at the law school.

You can read the entire story here.

You never really know who wants to help the animal world or when that help will come.

Attorneys are Active Animal Advocates

Some attorneys classify themselves as animal attorneys or attorneys that work in the area of animal law.

What exactly is this critter called animal law?

Attorney Emily A. Gardner  of Hawaii, in her website, states that she is an attorney devoted to animal law.

Ms. Gardner defines the field here,

“…Animal law has become a distinct legal discipline, with its own body of case law and a growing number of practitioners and academics. The practice of animal law deals primarily with resolving legal issues and situations in which the nature of animals–including their legal status, behavior or biology–is an important factor. Although animals themselves typically do not have standing (meaning the right to sue and be sued on their own behalf) people who care about animals, or who own them or have suffered harm by them often do. As a general rule, if a person or a group of people can show that they have a real and tangible stake in a legal claim involving animals, they can have their grievances heard in a court of law…”

Ms. Gardner proposed the current Hawaii Pet Trust legislation that was adopted by the state in 2005.

She was also invited to testify before the Hawaiian House Judiciary committee concerning her legislation.

She provided insightful reasoning for the passage of the bill when she testified before the Committee;

“…There are many good, caring, intelligent people in Hawaii who want to be able to provide for their pets through the creation of a trust. H.B. 1453 will give them, and their attorneys, the certainty of creation of an enforceable document -- it will do away with all the uncertainties surrounding pet trusts that currently exist.

At the same time, the legislation contains a provision which would allow a court to reduce a bequest deemed in excess of the reasonable needs of the pet-beneficiary, thereby providing a mechanism to prevent excesses which might bring the law into criticism. An attorney counseling their clients would surely inform them of this provision and advise them accordingly…”

She further testified that the bill also contained a provision exempting the trust from the common law against perpetuities, which would allow for the provision of care for long-lived pets such as birds  and reptiles and that the legislation would have little administrative burden, as Court appointed enforcement of the trust would be available only by petition.

When asked who might possibly be opposed to the newly proposed legislation, she responded,

   “I have wracked my brain for an answer. The only one I've come up with is "The nieces and nephews who didn't care enough to visit auntie, and who are passed over for a bequest in favor of Spot and Fido."

Shouldn't we permit people to care for those most dear to them in the event of their untimely demise, even if those are dogs, cats, or birds rather than people?”

There are many devoted animal owners and lovers throughout the United States.

Fortunately, there are also many attorneys who are included in this group and are willing to share their time, energy and efforts to further the various causes for you and your pets.