“The National Animal Law Competition was a wonderful experience and not only was I able to personally learn and excel, but my own passion for animal defense was excited. Also, I appreciate your avid support for our student animal advocacy and involvement. The Animal Legal Defense Fund is such a great force and I look forward to working with you again.”
–Sunita Popal, Student Animal Legal Defense Fund Treasurer, Golden Gate University School of Law
"I have worked on two separate cases with the assistance of Scott Heiser. The first was approximately a year ago and involved a dog who was shot by its owner in an inhumane way after he went to the bathroom on the owner’s shoes. Scott had sent a letter asking if we needed any assistance and I called him. He provided me with a voir dire outline, paid for a necropsy, and provided sound advice about his thoughts on the case. He offered to come down and second chair the trial but, due to his help, it ended up pleading out.
Most recently, he has helped me with a case involving the
starvation and killing of horses. He has gone above and beyond. He got up to
speed on the case, going through hundreds of pages of discovery in a short
period of time, and he provided a very candid, knowledgeable, and valued
opinion as to how the case should settle based on the facts. He also helped
write very significant motions, including a twenty page motion to oppose
severance. He has joined our team pro hac vice and came down twice to Yreka to
help litigate issues that arose. And he plans to second chair at a trial if we
end up going to trial. We are a small county and his help and knowledge have
been essential to this case. We are very grateful to your organization for
providing us with such an amazing person and resource."
–Tara McManigal, Deputy DA Siskiyou County
"I found the insights and professional talents of Scott Heiser to be among the finest I have ever encountered in my 31 years as a trial attorney. The depth of his experience and background certainly serve ALDF well."
–Christine M. Chenevert, Deputy District Attorney, Yreka, California
"The ALDF has always been and continues to be at the forefront in the advancement of protection and humane treatment of all animals. In addition the incredible work that they accomplish, the members also happen to be some of the most caring, compassionate and just truly wonderful individuals. I cannot thank the ALDF for its continued support and assistance and thank you all for your dedication and amazing work that you do—it is truly inspiring!"
–Tracy B. Stanton, Corporate Counsel at Evidon
"Thank you for giving such and inspiring and hopeful presentation today. I think that it is important, as you did today, to let the students know that there is probably going to be light at the end of the tunnel for animals in the future. I expect to contact you in the future to discuss you coming back again for the LSBA Animal Law Section's CLE. Keep up the great work!"
–Ariel K. DiGiulio, DiGiulio Utley, LLC
“Wayne State University Law School would like to thank the Animal Legal Defense Fund for the generous grant covering the costs associated with our first time offering of an Animal Law class during the 2012 Fall Semester. At a time when resources are at a premium, your grant has made possible something that would otherwise have been impossible, and has created a new opportunity for our students.”
–Robert M. Ackerman, Dean and Professor of Law, Wayne State University Law School
“I just received your package [animal law instructor packet] and I am speechless. The book is incredible and will be so helpful to me when I teach the college students and police recruits. Thank you so much for it and thank you all at ALDF for everything that you do - it is tremendous.”
–Natalie Carraway, Esq., Sheehan Greene Carraway Golderman & Jacques LLP, New York
“I can’t even express how ALDF helped me in this case of Max the kitten, who might have ended up being returned to the home where he was abused. They pointed me in the right direction for research and legal authority and helped me develop several alternative arguments so the judge had several grounds on which to rest his decision. I am so grateful that we were able to save Max’s life. If he had been returned to his original home, odds are that he would not be alive today.”
–Tiffany Wasserburger, Scotts Bluff County Attorney, Neb.
"Kentucky is considered the number one state in which to be an animal abuser, and sadly, many of our rural shelters are abusive as well. Duke and Duchess stood no chance of ever again seeing the light of day, had it not been for the Animal Legal Defense Fund. None of us knew if Duke and Duchess would be released until the last scary moment when finally they were taken to our vet, and we were able to work together to help find them a safe place to heal. United Rescues of Kentucky was proud to work with ALDF in this endeavor, and will forever be grateful on behalf of Duke and Duchess."
–Beverly McChesney, Board of Directors, United Rescues of Kentucky, Inc.
“On July 21, 2011, 193 rabbits were confiscated from Debe Bell's "Six Bells Farm." I was asked to help with the confiscation, and with caring for the sick and injured rabbits. We took 46 of the sickest and most injured. I contacted ALDF, asking for assistance for the DA in prosecuting this case. [ALDF attorney] Diane Balkin soon contacted me, letting me know that she was involved. The jury found Debe Bell guilty on 35 charges of cruelty. She was sentenced to spend five years on supervised probation and won't be able to own more than 25 of any animal. As a lover of all animals, especially rabbits who occupy such a mixed position in our society (beloved pet, livestock, horrible experiments, etc.), I thank you for your involvement in bringing this case to a just verdict. This is a major win for rabbits everywhere!”
–Nancy LaRoche, Co-Manager, Colorado House Rabbit Society
"We were very surprised and upset when we received a judge's order this past summer stating that the horses were to be returned to Robert Collier. That is when I asked for ALDF's help, as the volunteers of USERL could not bear the thought of these gentle souls being returned to their former life of abuse and neglect. Were it not for the quick action of the attorneys at ALDF, I fear that we would not have been able to act fast enough to prevent the horses' return."
–Jennifer Hack, Executive Director, United States Equine Rescue League
"ALDF has been an incomparable asset to the Oregon Humane Society. In the case of Sierra the pit bull, ALDF assisted with the lien foreclosure, which allowed the Oregon Humane Society to gain quick custody of Sierra and get her into a foster program for some much needed love and socialization. The Oregon Humane Society is grateful to have the ALDF as a partner on many of our investigations."
–Bonnie Helzer, Lead Investigator, Oregon Humane Society
"I’m still in disbelief that I got my dream job!* I don’t think I would be where I am today had I not started the SALDF chapter at FAMU. So, I once again want to thank you because it would have never happened if I didn’t have your help and support."
-Michelle McDonald, Former Florida A&M University Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
*Staff attorney at a national animal protection organization
"Thank you so much for sending this out! You have a really great network of pro-bono attorneys and I am very happy to say that we had several attorneys volunteer to speak and that we have a really interesting event planned for February 17. Thank you so much again for your help! It is so helpful to have ALDF as a resource."
-Michelle Newton, Seton Hall Law Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
"I wanted to take a moment and thank you for your presentation. The information you provided was invaluable and will make a huge impact in the service we provide to the public and the animals. After conversation with the other Animal Protection Officers I know they are already implementing the tools you supplied."
–Nicole Montano, Lead Animal Protection Officer, Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service, in a letter to Scott Heiser, Director of ALDF’s Criminal Justice Program
“Thank you for the seminar entitled “The Hows and Whys of Animal Cruelty Prosecution.” The presentation by you and Deborah Knaan was one of the most well received of the year. Several of the audience members commented on how timely and relevant they found your discussion of animal cruelty prosecutions and your description of the practical assistance available from the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Your discussion also provided valuable insight into the intersection between animal cruelty and other crimes and forms of violence. Thank you for your time, expertise, and willingness to travel to Los Angeles to provide training on an important area of criminal prosecutions.”
–Steve Cooley, Los Angeles County District Attorney, in a letter to Scott Heiser, Director of ALDF’s Criminal Justice Program
“ALDF’s financial support of this effort to obtain accountability for allegedly cruel treatment of all animals by those charged with upholding those laws was indispensable. Without ALDF support, it would have been virtually impossible to cover the court costs and numerous hours spent encouraging the highest court in the State of Washington to hear the matter. While the poor calf was the impetus, this case will affect all victims of criminal activity – human and nonhuman alike.”
–Adam Karp, Animal Law Attorney, referring to a case taken to the Washington Supreme Court in which two sheriff’s deputies brutally tasered a calf to death
“It takes a movement of dedicated people – like ALDF, animal rights organizations and animal lawyers to push the envelope – to show that societal norms must be incorporated into the law. Animals are not mere property. They are sentient beings and need to be treated as such.”
–Jennifer A. Dietz, Esq., Animal Law Attorneys, LLC
"As a Johnny-Come-Lately in 1981, I was not present at the Creation. I have always assumed that Joyce Tischler said, "Let there be Attorneys for Animal Rights." And there was. I was there when AFAR's name was changed to the "Animal Legal Defense Fund," for that took place in my living room amongst the rolled-up sleeping bags that passed for overnight accommodations for the board in those early days. I was making Joyce Tischler another sandwich in the kitchen during the final vote. AFAR/ALDF was a terrific idea, one whose significance has grown over the years, an idea that will reverberate deep within the future history of the struggle for the legal rights of nonhuman animals. As much as I gave to ALDF over the years in which I was president, I confess that it always returned much more to me. Had I not existed, the world would be the same. Not true for ALDF."
–Steve Wise, former ALDF president
“The Animal Legal Defense Fund is the one legal organization whose clients really are all innocent. Who knew there could be lawyers you could love?”
–Dan Piraro, Creator of the Cartoon ‘Bizarro’
“I think if the animals could talk, they would say that ALDF makes the world a better place.”
–Nolan Wilson, NASCAR Driver
“I have been a lawyer with the Department of Justice for 20 years and don’t have the heart to do the tough work you handle, but my heart is with you.”
–Lisa Olson, ALDF donor
“What would this world be without animals? My gratitude runs deep for ALDF. Thanks to their tireless efforts, and often emotionally draining work, the innocent animals in this world have a voice on their side so they have a chance to survive and thrive. My dog Ben reminds me every day what an important role ALDF plays.”
–Michelle Ullrich-Kownacki, “Mom” to Jack Russell, Ben, rescued in ALDF’s Woodley case & owner of Paws pet boutique
“I couldn’t have gotten through law school without ALDF. The skills I learned during my summer clerkship are a thousand times more valuable than all three years of casebooks and lectures combined. With law school behind me, I am thrilled to join ALDF in the animal advocacy community, working to advance protections for chimpanzees and all animals.”
–Sarah Baeckler, Executive Director of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest
“I cannot begin to imagine what advances will be made in defense of animal rights should your organization remain able to continually provide all prosecutors with the same level of service that you provided me.”
–Mandy M. Trout, Deputy Attorney, Platte County, Neb.
“ALDF helped bring resources we never knew existed to bear on a very difficult animal abuse case. ALDF has been in the vanguard of shaping progressive animal abuse laws in Oregon and other states and in training lawyers and law enforcement in dealing with cruelty and neglect cases.”
–Joshua K. Marquis, District Attorney, Clastop County, Ore.
“ALDF offered invaluable assistance in determining where Pennsylvania fits in the landscape of animal law and permitted us to approach the Oxford [puppy mill] case with a full understanding of the dimensions of the problem of animal hoarding.”
–Lorraine Finnegan, Assistant District Attorney, Chester County, Pa.
“In an animal cruelty matter involving thousands of turtles, ALDF came to the rescue, providing me with the experts I needed to prove my case.”
–Don Cocek, Deputy City Attorney, Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office