America’s Top 10 Animal Defenders

Animal victims of abuse cannot speak for themselves, but these people are taking a stand in seeking justice for abused and neglected animals.

During National Justice for Animals Week 2013, the Animal Legal Defense
Fund is delighted to announce America’s Top Ten Animal Defenders.


Abby Wallace

Abby Wallace is an animal cruelty prosecutor in Memphis, Tennessee. As an Assistant District Attorney General she doggedly pursued the perpetrators of the notorious Memphis Animal Shelter.

Abby has initiated criminal prosecutions against the shelter, leading to two felony pleas, with others pending.

Les Porter

Captain Les Porter heads up the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection
District in Stanislaus, California.

Currently a member of the Swift
Water Rescue Team, Captain Porter has been fighting fires and rescuing
animals, large and small, for 25 years.

Carrie Wineland

Carrie Wineland is an animal cruelty and domestic violence prosecutor and has worked for five years with the Josephine County District Attorney’s office in Oregon. Through her tremendous dedication, Carrie has helped rescue cats, dogs, horses, chickens, goats, a llama, a peacock in addition to securing guilty pleas in animal abuse cases.

James Davis

As a prosecutor for the Hancock County Prosecutor’s office in West Virginia, James Davis has handled the prosecution of dozens of animal abuse cases. In March, 2011 James worked with ALDF, UC-Davis, and the ASPCA to put together a case against Jeffrey Nally Jr. for the torture, mutilation, and death of at least 29 animals. Nally is serving a 10 to 25 year sentence in prison for those crimes.

Jamie Stanton

As a Deputy District Attorney, Jamie Stanton works passionately to prosecute animal cruelty cases in Douglas County, Oregon. Excelling in her fight for justice, Jamie has helped secure convictions in key precedent-setting cases since completing her law degree.

Jill Telfer

Jill Telfer is a tenacious, fearless, and committed advocate for her clients and animals. A California Trial Attorney with Sacramento-based Telfer Law, Jill often takes on pro bono animal rights cases.

Michael Dunavant

Michael Dunavant is the elected District Attorney General for the 25th Judicial District of Tennessee.  A native of Ripley, Tennessee, General Dunavant holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and a J.D. with honors from University of Mississippi at Oxford.

Michelle Welch

Michelle Welch has been an animal abuse prosecutor for thirteen years in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and one of the first animal abuse prosecutor in the state.  She is currently an Assistant Attorney General in the Virginia Attorney General’s Office.

  • Read her full profile

Samantha McDonald

As a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles, Samantha McDonald has filed and prosecuted animal cruelty cases resulting in the conviction of more than 50 defendants, 12 of whom were convicted for animal cruelty related to dog fighting.  In 2011 she prosecuted a husband and wife dog fighting team.

Butch Conway

Butch Conway is Sheriff of Gwinnett County and a veteran law enforcement officer with more than 30 years’ experience. Sheriff Conway has been vigilant in going after dog fighting rings– at one point offering $10,000 of his personal funds as reward money, and is a staunch supporter of charities involved in the rescue of animals.

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