legal resources

The Animal Legal Defense Fund provides these resources to help you learn how animal protection laws function within the legal system.

Animals and the Law

The field of animal law is complex. Use these articles as a guide to understand the fundamentals.

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What You Can Do

Do you need help with a specific legal situation involving an animal? Our guides below are provided with that end in mind.

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Other Resources


Animal Testing: Models for Improvement

While animal testing is still far too prevalent, some countries and states have implemented laws that reduce the number of animals used in laboratory experiments.

The Legal Process In The United States: A Civil Case

What is a civil lawsuit, and how does such a lawsuit proceed through the legal system? This is a general overview about civil lawsuits. It covers the main steps along the way, and the most important terms to know.

Animal Fighting: State Laws

A state’s criminal animal cruelty statutes may address animal fighting generally or may identify specific types of animal fighting, such as dogfighting, cockfighting or hog-dog fighting, as unlawful.

Animal Fighting: Federal Law

The Animal Welfare Act is the name for United States Code Title 7 Chapter 54 “Transportation, Sale, and Handling of Certain Animals.” It is one of a handful of federal laws that provide very limited protections for animals.

Animal Neglect Facts: Federal Law

The Animal Welfare Act requires that minimum standards of care and treatment be provided for certain animals bred for commercial sale, used in research, transported commercially, or exhibited to the public.

Animal Neglect Facts: State and Local Law

Most states’ criminal animal cruelty statutes define a minimum standard of care which requires that an animal caretaker provide food, shelter and veterinary care. However, some farmed animals, fish or wildlife may be excluded from anti-cruelty statutes.

Submit an Employment Opportunity

The Animal Legal Defense Fund promotes select internships, jobs, and other professional development opportunities related to animal law. Fill out the the form to have your opportunity considered for publication.

New Law Graduate Attorney Membership Application

Join now! Our Pro Bono Program is the nation’s largest pro bono network for animal protection and utilizes volunteers to support our litigation, criminal justice, and legislative goals.

Ways to Give

Since 1979, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has been the leader in the fight to win animals the legal protection they so desperately need—and deserve. Your generous support is vital to our continued success.