Animal Legal Defense Fund Offers Expertise, Financial Aid to Sheriff Seeking Justice for Anne

Posted on December 6, 2007

National Animal Law Organization Offers Support in Case of Beagle Skinned Alive in Cullman County

DogCullman County, Ala. – The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) has
sent a letter to Cullman County Sheriff Tyler Roden, offering their
free legal assistance in the case of Anne, the three-year-old beagle
who was found skinned alive by her Vinemont family two weeks ago.
Despite surviving this initial torture, Anne had to be euthanized
because she did not have enough remaining skin to complete a skin
graft. The national animal law organization’s Criminal Justice Program
is offering funds to cover the cost of collecting and analyzing
forensic evidence in the case and can provide assistance in negotiating
details of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act so that the
Sheriff can obtain data from cell towers located in the area where the
incident took place. ALDF has also offered a $1,000 reward for
information leading to the arrest of the offender(s) in this outrageous
case of animal cruelty, adding to the more than $35,000 in reward money
already offered by local and national animal protection organizations.  

"We applaud the job Sheriff Roden’s office is doing already in seeking
justice for Anne, including having her body forensically examined for
trace evidence that might help identify the perpetrator of this grisly
crime," says ALDF Criminal Justice Program Director Scott Heiser,
himself a former prosecutor. "If such cruelty to animals weren’t bad
enough, the link between violence toward animals and violence toward
humans is well documented. We’re eager to offer ALDF’s expertise to
help bring criminal animal abusers to justice." In a recent report released by the Animal Legal Defense Fund ranking the animal protection laws of the 50 states,
Alabama was ranking in the middle-tier of states–not among the very
worst, but leaving significant room for improvements that would bring
the state in line with states like California, Illinois, Maine,
Michigan, and Oregon, which offer the best protections for animals.

A copy of ALDF’s letter to Sheriff Roden follows:

November 27, 2007

Dear Sheriff Roden,

By way of introduction, I am an attorney and the Director of the
Criminal Justice Program for the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), a
national, nonprofit organization of attorneys who specialize in the
protection of animals and work to ensure the enforcement of existing
animal protection laws.  We have a nationwide membership of over
115,000 supporters, many of whom are attorneys themselves.  Prior to
joining ALDF, I served 17 years as an Oregon prosecutor, including more
than eight years as the elected District Attorney in Benton County.  I
also served as the president of my state’s district attorneys
association and as an advisor to the Governor on drug and violent
crimes issues.  I provide you with this background information with the
hope that you might accept my offer of assistance in solving the
aggravated act of animal cruelty involving the live skinning of Anne
the beagle.  

We have funds to help law enforcement agencies cover the cost of
collecting and analyzing forensic evidence that may ultimately lead to
the identification of the offender(s) who committed this unspeakable
act.  

Moreover, if you need help, we can assist you with negotiating the
details of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act so that you can
obtain ping data from the cell towers located near the area of this
incident which can then be analyzed to help identify the suspect(s). 
This is an outrageous act of cruelty and worthy of every effort to
bring the offender(s) to justice not just because of the profound
degree of suffering inflicted on Anne but also because of the general
threat to society that the offender(s) present as evidenced by the
conduct in this case.  We are here to help you in any way you need so
that this case is solved.  It is all free of charge.

Very truly yours,

Scott Heiser

Director, Criminal Justice Program