Tiffany Wasserburger is the county attorney for Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska where she is responsible for prosecution of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and animal abuse cases. She serves as the chair for the Child Abuse Treatment Team, a collaborative effort between community and law enforcement members. In 2009, the Team named educating the community about the correlations between animal abuse, child abuse and domestic violence as one of its three goals.
Tiffany’s tireless prosecution has helped provide second chances for countless animals, including Max the kitten. In 2009, Dustin Teahon of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, assaulted his girlfriend and kicked her young cat Max down a flight of stairs. Max sustained serious injury, including possible neurological trauma, and the girlfriend ended her relationship with Teahon. When the couple reconciled, Teahon’s girlfriend wanted Max returned to their home. Fortunately, authorities recognized that allowing Max to return to his guardian and her abusive boyfriend would place him in grave danger. Tiffany, oversaw the criminal case against Teahon, and faced a daunting legal challenge to prevent Max from being returned to his abuser’s home. So, she turned to the Animal Legal Defense Fund for help. Ultimately, Teahon was sentenced to jail, and the judge allowed Max to be adopted into a new home where he can play, cuddle, and catnap without fear. He may have a had a terrifying start in life, but his ordeal has led to a pioneering court ruling that may set a precedent for future cases involving companion animals.