Animal Law Justice Fund

In a famous case from 2013, a family dog escaped its backyard and was picked up by animal control. The owners identified the pet as theirs and said they would return to pay the fees and pick up the animal. When they did, they found out the dog had been euthanized by mistake.
The devastated family sued, but the court decided that pain and suffering damages were available only for the loss of a close (human) family member. Animals are property, the court ruled, so the only compensation available to the family was the fair market value of an 8-year-old mongrel.

Educated judges can make the difference for animals and people who care about them

In the example above, the same court might have ruled that the dog was a close family member — if the judge had realized that such a ruling would advance justice.

People who care about animals should care about educating judges because judges decide how much protection the law affords animals.

Statutes – the laws “on the books” – are written by legislators. But judges decide what the law means in real life. Their decisions have major consequences, especially when they set a precedent.

Animal law has never been more prominent than it is today. In 2000, only a handful of law schools offered a course on animal law. Today, more than 150 do, and judges are seeing increasing numbers of cases generated by the growing number of lawyers doing this work.

Who will decide how the law applies to animals living with families (more households today have pets than children), to animals in the wild, or animals born and raised for food, entertainment or research?

Judges will decide. And more judges study with The National Judicial College – about 10,000 annually – than with any other educational institution in the United States.

Upcoming Animal Law Webcasts

Animal Cruelty – Part One – An Animal Law Webcast for Judges

Animal Cruelty – Part One – An Animal Law Webcast for Judges

Jan 8, 2020 00:00 - 00:00

Noon PST | Online Webcast | Tuition: Free This webinar will summarize the issues that arise in the prosecution of animal cruelty cases under state...

Animal Cruelty – Part Two – An Animal Law Webcast for Judges

Animal Cruelty – Part Two – An Animal Law Webcast for Judges

Jan 15, 2020 12:00 - 13:15

Noon PST | Online Webcast | Tuition: Free Animal Cruelty:  A continuation of the January 8, 2020 webcast - this webinar will summarize the issues that...

Animal Law – Civil Cases Part 1

Animal Law – Civil Cases Part 1

Feb 5, 2020 00:00 - 00:00

Noon PST | Online Webcast | Tuition: Free While animals may be involved in several cases in which their living nature does not matter, there are an...

Animal Law – Civil Cases Part 2

Animal Law – Civil Cases Part 2

Feb 12, 2020 00:00 - 00:00

Noon PST | Online Webcast | Tuition: Free While animals may be involved in several cases in which their living nature does not matter, there are an...

Animal Law – Local Laws (County and Municipal Codes)

Animal Law – Local Laws (County and Municipal Codes)

Mar 4, 2020 00:00 - 00:00

Noon PST | Online Webcast | Tuition: Free Many local ordinances govern what residents of communities can do with animals, ranging from limits on numbers...

Animal Law – “Service”, “Therapy”, and “Support” Animals

Animal Law – “Service”, “Therapy”, and “Support” Animals

Mar 25, 2020 00:00 - 00:00

Noon PST | Online Webcast | Tuition: Free A complex and often confusing set of state and federal laws govern the treatment of people who utilize animals...

Animal Law: Wildlife and Animals in Entertainment

Animal Law: Wildlife and Animals in Entertainment

Apr 8, 2020 00:00 - 00:00

Noon PST | Online Webcast | Tuition: Free This webcast will cover a broad range of considerations and cases that may come before state courts regarding...

Animal Law – Livestock

Animal Law – Livestock

May 6, 2020 00:00 - 00:00

Noon PST | Online Webcast | Tuition: Free This webcast will provide a quick summary of exemplary state laws addressing the use and treatment of animals...