The Animal Legal Defense Fund works at the federal, state and local levels to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals. This page is meant to be used as a resource to see what is happening in your state and what actions you can take for animals.
Each year, the Animal Legal Defense Fund publishes its U.S. State Animal Protection Laws Rankings Report. It is the longest-running and most authoritative of its kind, assessing the strength of each state’s animal protection laws by examining over 3,400 pages of statutes. Each state is ranked based on 20 different categories of animal protection.
Overall Rank: #9 (Top Tier)
- +Animals may be included in protection orders
- +Veterinarians must report suspected animal cruelty, and have immunity for doing so in good faith
- +Mandatory post-conviction possession ban
- -Seizure and pre-conviction forfeiture statute is not clear, and pre-conviction forfeiture is very limited
- -Standards for minimum acceptable care for animals (e.g. necessary food, water, shelter) are not well-defined
Lobbied California Coastal Commission
The Animal Legal Defense Fund opposed the expansion of SeaWorld San Diego without strict requirements, including not acquiring additional orcas.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund sued the California Exposition and State Fair and Regents of the University of California on grounds that the State Fair's inhumane treatment of nursing and pregnant pigs violates state animal cruelty laws.
Animal Legal Defense Fund, Emily Ballus, Eileen McFall, Ph.D. and Christopher McFall v. City of Stockton; City of Stockton Animal Services Division; City of Stockton Animal Shelter; Pat Claerbout
The Animal Legal Defense Fund sued the city of Stockton, California, and Stockton Animal Services, for violation of local and state laws. The lawsuit was settled in 2015, with the Stockton animal shelter showing significant improvements.
Animal Legal Defense Fund, PETA, INC. v. The Great Bull Run, LLC; Lone Star Rodeo, LLC
The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit that put an end to the Great Bull Run—an event in which three dozen panicked bulls are forced to stampede down a narrow track with up to a thousand runners.
Animal Legal Defense Fund v Mendocino County
The Animal Legal Defense Fund sued Mendocino County, California, for violating the California Environmental Quality Act by renewing a contract with the federal wildlife-killing program known as Wildlife Services.
Carolyn Claybaugh v. Trader Joe's Co.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Trader Joe’s Company on behalf of a Trader Joe’s egg purchaser, seeking to stop Trader Joe’s from deceptively labeling its cage-free eggs and misleading consumers seeking eggs.
Take action now to help animals in your state.