Posted by Pamela Frasch, ALDF's General Counsel on July 16, 2007

My daughter has named him Max.  “Him” being a three pound ball of mixed breed fluff who was rescued from a puppy mill/hoarder when he was only two weeks old.  I haven’t had a puppy since I was a child (my husband and I have always adopted adult dogs), Maxbut when my daughter pleaded with us to be allowed to foster a puppy from one of the cruelty cases I work on, we caved, and oh, how glad I am that we did!  At twelve weeks old, Max is a hopping, tumbling, running and jumping bundle of joy.  I bring him to the office every day where he is greeted with shouts of “Maaaaaaaax!!!” by my colleagues.  The other dogs that come to our office weigh 70 lbs on average, but Max, the three-pound wonder-dog, is already ruling the roost.  It’s amazing to see the effect he has on those around him, both canine and human.  (In how many law offices will you see otherwise professional and serious attorneys, law clerks and support staff rolling around on the ground talking baby talk to a puppy?)  My other rescue dog (Abby, the golden retriever), is still not quite sure whether having a puppy in her life is a good thing.  But Abby is such a gentle soul, that I am confident she and Max will soon become the best of friends (if Max would just learn to stop jumping on her face.)

When we work on cruelty cases, whether they be criminal or civil, we focus on the legal issues, the procedural posture of the case, and the strategic possibilities.  At times, we can get so wrapped up in the technical details that we almost forget the case involves living, breathing sentient beings who need and deserve our protection.  Max and the other rescued dogs and cats that form our larger ALDF family are daily reminders that the work we do is not simply abstract legal work.  I know that the work we do on Max’s case will have a profound impact on his life.  The thought of Max going back to his abuser is horrifying to me, my family and my colleagues.  The thought of his abuser being allowed to harm other animals is equally horrifying, and can not happen.   

So, although Max is quite the distraction these days, he is also quite the motivator.  Max and the other thousands of animals we work for each year deserve the best.  OK.  Enough puppy talk.  I need to get back to work…..


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