National Justice for Animals Week: Thursday’s Action

Posted by April Nockleby, ALDF's Online Content Manager on February 26, 2009

Ask your prosecutor to enforce a Zero Tolerance for Cruelty policy in your community!

Tough
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.

  1. 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
    prosecutor.

  2. 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.
    Black.”

  3. 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.

  4. 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!