Animal Legal Defense Fund Offers Expertise, Financial Aid to Sheriff Seeking Justice for AnneDecember 6th, 2007
National Animal Law Organization Offers Support in Case of Beagle Skinned Alive in Cullman County
Cullman County, Ala. – The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) has sent a letter to Cullman County Sheriff Tyler Roden, offering their free legal assistance in the case of Anne, the three-year-old beagle who was found skinned alive by her Vinemont family two weeks ago. Despite surviving this initial torture, Anne had to be euthanized because she did not have enough remaining skin to complete a skin graft. The national animal law organization’s Criminal Justice Program is offering funds to cover the cost of collecting and analyzing forensic evidence in the case and can provide assistance in negotiating details of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act so that the Sheriff can obtain data from cell towers located in the area where the incident took place. ALDF has also offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the offender(s) in this outrageous case of animal cruelty, adding to the more than $35,000 in reward money already offered by local and national animal protection organizations.
"We applaud the job Sheriff Roden’s office is doing already in seeking justice for Anne, including having her body forensically examined for trace evidence that might help identify the perpetrator of this grisly crime," says ALDF Criminal Justice Program Director Scott Heiser, himself a former prosecutor. "If such cruelty to animals weren’t bad enough, the link between violence toward animals and violence toward humans is well documented. We’re eager to offer ALDF’s expertise to help bring criminal animal abusers to justice." In a recent report released by the Animal Legal Defense Fund ranking the animal protection laws of the 50 states, Alabama was ranking in the middle-tier of states--not among the very worst, but leaving significant room for improvements that would bring the state in line with states like California, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, and Oregon, which offer the best protections for animals.
A copy of ALDF’s letter to Sheriff Roden follows:
November 27, 2007
Dear Sheriff Roden,
By way of introduction, I am an attorney and the Director of the Criminal Justice Program for the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), a national, nonprofit organization of attorneys who specialize in the protection of animals and work to ensure the enforcement of existing animal protection laws. We have a nationwide membership of over 115,000 supporters, many of whom are attorneys themselves. Prior to joining ALDF, I served 17 years as an Oregon prosecutor, including more than eight years as the elected District Attorney in Benton County. I also served as the president of my state’s district attorneys association and as an advisor to the Governor on drug and violent crimes issues. I provide you with this background information with the hope that you might accept my offer of assistance in solving the aggravated act of animal cruelty involving the live skinning of Anne the beagle.
We have funds to help law enforcement agencies cover the cost of collecting and analyzing forensic evidence that may ultimately lead to the identification of the offender(s) who committed this unspeakable act.
Moreover, if you need help, we can assist you with negotiating the details of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act so that you can obtain ping data from the cell towers located near the area of this incident which can then be analyzed to help identify the suspect(s). This is an outrageous act of cruelty and worthy of every effort to bring the offender(s) to justice not just because of the profound degree of suffering inflicted on Anne but also because of the general threat to society that the offender(s) present as evidenced by the conduct in this case. We are here to help you in any way you need so that this case is solved. It is all free of charge.
Very truly yours,
Director, Criminal Justice Program