National Justice for Animals Week Honorees

Without strong enforcement, even the best written laws are powerless to protect animals. That’s why the Animal Legal Defense Fund is celebrating some of our nation’s most important animal advocates during National Justice for Animals Week–the prosecutors and other law enforcement professionals who have let it be known that animal abuse will not be tolerated in their communities.

ALDF is also celebrating the legislators who have demonstrated a commitment to promoting cutting-edge animal protection legislation, which gives law enforcement the tools they need to keep animals safe.

We are proud to announce the honorees and sponsors of National Justice for Animals Week 2009.

Believing that education is the most effective tool to changing people's attitudes, Sandra has initiated, developed and/or hosted numerous training opportunities, both within the Department and with other organizations, that are designed to eliminate misconceptions about animal-related crimes and redirect the focus from a simple "humane issue" to a "law enforcement issue."

Ms. Moawad's aggressive prosecution of profoundly cruel animal abuse in the White Socks kitten case helped improve the flawed sentencing system that capped the state’s ability to put the offenders away for a meaningful period of time.

Recognizing that animals are among the most vulnerable members of our society and that those who mistreat animals often commit crimes against human victims, Mr. Cooley created the largest division in the country dedicated to the consistent and vigorous prosecution of animal cruelty, animal neglect, and illegal animal fighting cases.

The majority of Dr. Ferris' emergency response activities involve large scale animal hoarding cases and dog fighting seizures rather than natural disasters. Dr. Ferris is a sworn animal cruelty investigator and teaches animal cruelty investigation courses for veterinary students and other cruelty investigators across the state.

Mr. Fleck has prosecuted upwards of 50 felony animal cruelty cases, many through verdict after jury trials. Every trial has resulted in conviction, and every conviction, barring extraordinary circumstances, has resulted in a jail or prison sentence.

Ms. Knaan helped introduce new state legislation, AB 243, into the California Assembly—this bill would allow a judge to bar a felon convicted of animal cruelty from owning animals for a certain period after their release. She is currently working on a program designed to encourage reporting of animal fighting and a program intended to educate those who have failed to properly care for their animals.

Ms. Trout, with the assistance of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, has prevailed in securing a conviction by jury for animal abuse in the case against the owner of Puddles, a 13-year-old Bichon Frise who had suffered such severe neglect that he had to be euthanized.

Most recently, Mr. Brandes has been working on prosecuting large scale breeders, including a case in which more than 130 dogs were seized from the property of defendant Mahlon "Pat" Patrick.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is proud to have Congressman Cohen as a co-sponsor for National Justice for Animals Week. Congressman Cohen sponsored Tennessee's T-Bo Law, the nation's first-ever statute providing for noneconomic damages, up to $5000, in cases of intentional or negligent acts resulting in the death of a companion dog or cat.

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