National Justice for Animals Week: Thursday's ActionPosted by April Nockleby, ALDF's Online Content Manager on February 26th, 2009
Ask your prosecutor to enforce a Zero Tolerance for Cruelty policy in your community!
laws protecting animals are critical in fighting animal abuse—but laws
are meaningless without vigorous enforcement. The prosecutors being
honored by ALDF during National Justice for Animals Week demonstrate what remarkable power law enforcement officials have in creating real justice for animals.
There are lots of ways to contact your prosecutor, but there is still no substitute for a letter, which goes directly to the desk of the addressee and leaves a paper trail.
- Search online for contact information for your county’s district
attorney’s office, or contact the National District Attorneys
Association at 703-549-9222 to find out how to reach your local
- Begin your letter with the proper title and salutation. For
prosecutors, use their full name, followed by their title; for example,
“Mary Black, Assistant County Attorney,” with a salutation of “Dear Ms.
- In your first paragraph, state who you are, and explain that you
are writing to urge your prosecutor to take the crime of animal abuse
seriously in your community. Explain why animal abuse matters to you
and to your community. For example, mention how a particular issue
affects you or your community (which, of course, includes animal
members), or how you have donated time or money to a humane society, or
how an experience with an animal made a lasting impression on you or
initiated your activism.
- Keep your letter to one page, with a few concise points. Some points you might wish to include in your letter:
- Animal victims of abuse cannot speak for themselves—so it is the job of our criminal justice system to protect them.
- There is a well-established link between animal abuse and violence toward humans. Ignoring the crime of animal abuse not only endangers a community’s animals—it also endangers the people who live there.
- The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s National Justice for Animals Week , co-sponsored by Congressman Steve Cohen, is the perfect opportunity to renew your community’s commitment to fighting animal abuse and honoring animal victims. ALDF offers free resources to prosecutors handling cruelty cases, including legal research, location of expert witnesses, and sample pleadings. More information is available at www.aldf.org.
- Thank them for taking the time to read your letter and ask for a reply. Be sure to include your name and address on the letter (and the envelope, if mailed). You can send ALDF a copy too.
While the criminal justice system is there to protect all of us, very few people ever take the time to communicate directly with their prosecutors about the issues important to them. Write a short letter today—and your prosecutor might be among next year’s National Justice for Animals Week honorees!