Animal Legal Defense Fund Partners with the NCJFCJ to Address Animal Cruelty
Survivors know that leaving them behind puts their pets at even greater risk of abuse once the victim is gone. As of last year, 32 states including D.C. and Puerto Rico have enacted laws.
Cotati, CA – The Animal Legal Defense Fund and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) are pleased to announce a new partnership to address judicial response in court cases related to animal cruelty.
Research shows acts of cruelty against animals can be a sentinel indicator and often a predictor of other forms of family and community violence. Survivors of family violence are often left in a position of deciding whether to stay in an abusive and often dangerous situation, or to go but leave behind their beloved pets.
Survivors know that leaving them behind puts their pets at even greater risk of abuse once the victim is gone. As of last year, 32 states including D.C. and Puerto Rico have enacted laws that include pets in domestic violence protection orders.
“The collaboration between the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges is the first of its kind,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “The Animal Legal Defense Fund is honored to be the first animal protection group to formally collaborate with a judicial organization, and we applaud NCJFCJ for being the first judges group to recognize the need to address animal cruelty in juvenile and family court cases.”
As part of this innovative collaboration, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and NCJFCJ will host a convening with judicial officers who preside over juvenile and family court cases to identify information that judges and courts need to better understand critical issues related to animal cruelty.
The groups will then develop and disseminate a bench book to guide judges and other court personnel with juvenile and family court cases, including awareness of the link between the acts of violence towards humans and animal cruelty.
“There is an undeniable link between animal cruelty and family violence,” said Judge John J. Romero, Jr., NCJFCJ president. “This one-of-a-kind partnership with the Animal Legal Defense Fund will be an opportunity to educate our nation’s juvenile and family court judges on addressing and recognizing animal cruelty in order to help children, families, and pets who have experienced violence.”
The Animal Legal Defense Fund announced that a settlement agreement has been reached with the Animal Kingdom pet store in a high-profile lawsuit over a puppy laundering scheme to unlawfully circumvent the California "retail pet sale ban" — a law that bans the sale of dogs from commercial breeders, commonly called puppy mills.June 17, 2020 Press Release
This week, the Superior Court of California in Solano County found the owner of California Carolina Dogs, a puppy mill located in Vallejo, liable for violating the Polanco-Lockyer Pet Breeder Warranty Act following a lawsuit filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund on behalf of Caru SPCA.June 3, 2020 Press Release
As shelter-in-place orders are given across the nation, there is a growing concern that family violence will be on the rise.April 10, 2020 News