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 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.
Young woman working at home with her pet.


The Animal Law Academy webinars are an opportunity to hone your skills and gain both practical and substantive knowledge about important issues currently facing animals in the legal system.

Animal Law Academy

The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Animal Law Academy provides articles, educational webinars, and CLEs covering both substantive and practical topics in animal law written and presented by experts in the field. These are a convenient way to learn more about the rapidly developing field of animal law while staying up-to-date on the latest news.

Nuisance Issues and Some Steps Toward Resolving Conflicts

It’s the second time this week that you’ve received a call from your neighbor, complaining that your dog’s barking is driving her crazy. This time she’s threatening to call the police or animal. control.

What To Do If a Companion Animal You Purchased Became Sick or Died Soon Afterwards

This tragic story is all too common: Someone purchases a puppy from a breeder or pet store, only to discover their new furry family member is very sick, oftentimes fatally.

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.