ALDF Helps in Animal Abuse Case From Start to Finish, and Beyond

Posted on May 18, 2007

Last fall, ALDF assisted with a Tennessee hoarding case where 36 cats and hundreds of small dogs were removed from a home after being kept in cramped, squalid conditions. As the case concluded, the Sumner County prosecutor asked for additional help from ALDF in exploring ways to give law enforcement better legal resources to combat animal hoarders and other abusers in the future. The result – a new law.

The new Tennessee law now requires that in cases where an animal cruelty defendant is ordered by a court to pay the costs of care for rescued animals and then doesn’t, the defendant loses all ownership rights to the animals, which can then be adopted out to new families. "This law is a vitally important tool to help reduce the enormous costs of caring for abused animals and, more importantly, provide a way to get them into new loving homes as soon as possible," says Stephan Otto, ALDF’s director of legislative affairs and author of the bill. The new law will take effect on July 1.