Displaying items by tag: laws


Animal Protection Heroes to Be Honored During National Justice for Animal Week


COTATI, California—The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s preeminent legal advocacy organization for animals, has chosen America’s Top Ten Animal Defenders – the list of top prosecutors, law enforcement officials, lawmakers and others who champion the cause of animal crime victims honored during National Justice for Animals Week, Feb. 25 – March 3, 2018. Each year, National Justice for Animals Week recognizes these individuals’ outstanding contributions to the protection of animals, raises public awareness about animal abuse and advises advocates how to pass stronger laws and demand better enforcement for acts of animal cruelty


The Animal Legal Defense Fund is also honoring two horses, Willow and Stormy, by naming them the mascots of National Justice for Animals Week 2018. The horses were victims of severe neglect, both pregnant and severely malnourished when law enforcement found them. They

were lucky to survive, but, thanks to the great work of the prosecutor and local rescuers, today Willow and Stormy are thriving, as are their foals. Their abuser is behind bars because the prosecutor knew how important it was to win justice for Willow, Stormy, and the other horses. Each year countless animal victims endure criminal cruelty. Willow & Stormy remind us that with persistence, we can make sure more animal abusers are brought to justice.


America’s Top Ten Animal Defenders include:


Jessica Rubin,director of legal practice program, University of Connecticut Law School. Professor Rubin was instrumental in creating Desmond’s Law, which created the nation’s first statutory animal advocate position in criminal cruelty cases. Professor Rubin is among the first attorneys approved to volunteer as an animal advocate.


Diana Urban, state representative, Connecticut. Rep. Urban sponsored Desmond’s Law, which allows judges in criminal animal cruelty cases to appoint advocates for animal victims. The law honors the memory of Desmond,a shelter dog who was starved, beaten and strangled to death by his owner, who, despite having admitted his guilt upon arrest, was able to avoid jail time and have the crime left off his record after rehabilitation.


Tom Demmery, assistant chief of police, Hollywood, Florida. Ollie the pit bull was stabbed 50 times and left in a suitcase to die. Demmery treated the case with the seriousness it deserved, and instructed detectives to “treat this like a homicide.” They found the abuser, who is now behind bars facing charges of animal cruelty.


Patrick Harrington, prosecutor, Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Recognizing the need to address the county’s uptick in animal cruelty situations, Harrington assembled an animal advisory committee. The group includes a deputy prosecutor, animal control officers, veterinarians and local animal advocates – all working together toward the goal of bringing animal abusers to justice.

Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, Massachusetts. Dr. Smith-Blackmore is a veterinarian, public safety and animal advocate. She uses her expertise in veterinary forensics to assist law enforcement and prosecutors in animal cruelty cases throughout the United States. Her scientific contributions have been critical in countless cases, helping to ensure the animals' conditions are fully documented and animal abusers are brought to justice. 

Richard Alloway, state senator, Pennsylvania. Senator Alloway co-sponsored Libre’s Law, a 2017 update to Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty laws. The new law strengthens protections for animals and allows legal punishments for animal cruelty to match the severity of the crime. Sen. Alloway advanced these needed changes in the wake of public support for Libre, a puppy who suffered such extreme neglect he only lived thanks to intensive veterinary care.


Todd Stephens, state representative, Pennsylvania. Representative Stephens co-sponsored Libre’s Law, a much needed update to Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty laws. The new law offers more appropriate penalties for animal cruelty crimes so that animal abusers are not let go with a slap on the wrist.


Earl Blumenauer, U.S. representative, Oregon. When the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) abruptly eliminated public access to thousands of online records concerning enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act (the federal law regulating research labs, puppy mills, zoos, circuses and more), Rep. Blumenauer led the charge to urge the USDA to return the records to the USDA website. Long a champion for animals, Rep. Blumenauer co-chairs the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus.


Judge Susan Skinner, Bexar County, Texas. Judge Skinner recognized the importance of taking animal cruelty seriously, and decided to implement the first animal abuse docket in her county. By presiding over these cases she ensures that bringing justice to animal victims is not overlooked in Bexar County the way it is in many other jurisdictions nationwide.


Greg Allen, chief of police, El Paso, Texas. Chief Allen assembled El Paso’s first animal cruelty investigations unit, responsible for handling cruelty cases and training other officers to better respond to calls about animal cruelty. A dedicated animal cruelty unit goes a long way toward securing justice for animals.


For more information, please visit




About the Animal Legal Defense Fund

The Animal Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1979 to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. To accomplish this mission, the Animal Legal Defense Fund files high-impact lawsuits to protect animals from harm; provides free legal assistance and training to prosecutors to assure that animal abusers are punished for their crimes; supports tough animal protection legislation and fights harmful legislation; and provides resources and opportunities to law students and professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law. For more information, please



Born Free USA roundup of federal and state bills

Washington, D.C., December 30, 2014 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, works with federal, state, and local legislators to strengthen existing animal protection laws and establish new ones that tackle crucial wildlife issues including exotic animals kept as “pets,” the barbaric trapping industry, and the trade in wildlife parts. This year was significant in legislatures around the country, with animal bills seeing both big wins and frustrating defeats.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and the Born Free Foundation, “We fight with unsurpassed determination to protect animals and preserve wildlife. We are grateful to those who support our efforts to reduce animal suffering, increase public safety, and help ensure compassionate conservation everywhere. All American citizens can help influence their state and federal leadership and impact the way we treat wildlife. Every voice can be heard, and we are asking people to step up for the sake of wildlife protection and the future of our planet.”

Born Free relies on its dedicated constituents to help persuade legislators to act for animals throughout the year, and encourages everyone to join its eAlert team for regular updates on ways to assist (

Born Free USA’s hit and miss list for 2014 bills:

Exotic animals and other primates:

From the slaughter of wild animals in Zanesville, Ohio in 2011 after a man released them from his property, to the Connecticut woman who was mutilated by her neighbor’s pet chimpanzee in 2009, to the nearly 100 other incidents detailed in the Born Free USA Exotic Animal Incidents Database throughout 2014, the stories of private ownership of exotic pets are gruesome and preventable. To protect wildlife and the public, Born Free USA worked on the following bills:

1) Federal Bill: Captive Primate Safety Act (H.R. 2856/S. 1463)

Purpose: To prohibit the interstate commerce in nonhuman primates for the exotic pet trade.

History: In 2003, the Captive Wildlife Safety Act was signed into law to prohibit interstate commerce in lions, tigers, and other big cats as pets. Because primates face similar inhumane treatment and pose similar threats to public health and safety, advocates seek to add them to the list of species prohibited in commercial trade.

Progress in 2014: Born Free USA, along with partners, worked to attract more attention to this bill. The list of cosponsors soared to more than 150, and members of Congress spoke out in passionate support of the bill at a press conference highlighting Charla Nash: a woman who was severely injured in an attack by her neighbor’s pet chimpanzee, and who lent her voice to highlight the importance of this measure.

Outcome: While the bill had strong bipartisan support and passed the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, it was ultimately overlooked due to other Congressional priorities. Born Free USA will capitalize on the favor it accrued to start strong in the next Congress.

2) Federal Bill: Humane Care for Primates Act (H.R. 3556)

Purpose: To change CDC regulations to allow sanctuaries to import primates into the country for the purpose of providing humane lifetime care.

History: Current CDC regulations allow the importation of primates for “bona fide scientific, educational, or exhibition purposes,” which excludes sanctuaries and prevents needy primates overseas from being rescued by U.S. organizations, such as the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary.

Progress in 2014: After securing introduction of the bill in 2013 with Rep. Ellmers (R-NC) as a sponsor, Born Free USA worked to raise awareness and build support for the bill in Congress. With more than 40 cosponsors, this bill was well-received.

Outcome: While it did not pass, the awareness raised ensures that the bill is well-poised to be reintroduced in the House in 2015, and to find a Senate champion.

3) West Virginia Bill (S.B. 428/H.B. 4393)

Purpose: To prohibit private ownership of exotic species, with that list to be defined by the Department of Natural Resources.

History: West Virginia was one of only six states left lacking restriction or oversight for the private possession of exotic animals. This historic bill was initiated by Born Free USA in 2012, though it failed to pass that year.

2014 SUCCESS: This bill passed the legislature and was signed into law by the governor.


Born Free USA is addressing this cruel, unregulated industry. Tens of thousands of targeted and non-targeted animals are caught in traps that leave them injured, maimed, or dead. To prevent further harm, Born Free USA worked on the following bills:

1) Federal Bill: Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act (H.R. 3513)

Purpose: To ban trapping in the National Wildlife Refuge System. The bill aims to restore the original intent of the National Wildlife Refuge System to create havens for wildlife that are safe and free from unnatural intrusion. The bill would also protect people and companion animals incidentally caught by brutal traps.

History: Born Free USA played a key role in drafting the bill when it was originally introduced in the 2009/2010 Congress.

Progress in 2014: Born Free USA lobbied to gain support for this bill in the House, and engaged our Members in a grassroots effort to emphasize the need for this ban.

Outcome: This bill failed to gain traction in the 2013-2014 Congress. However, Born Free USA will continue its efforts to educate members of Congress about trapping.

2) Illinois Bill (S.B. 3049)

Purpose: To add the gray wolf, American black bear, and cougar to the list of protected species under the Illinois Wildlife Act.

History: Under Illinois law, it is unlawful for any person at any time to take, possess, sell, offer for sale, propagate, or release into the wild any “protected species,” with exemptions for scientific, educational, or zoological institutions. The gray wolf, American black bear, and cougar populations are in need of these protections afforded to the other threatened species protected under the Illinois Wildlife Act.

2014 SUCCESS: Born Free USA lobbied in support of this bill through grassroots outreach and by submitting testimony to the legislature. The legislature recognized the importance of these wildlife protections, passed the bill, and the governor signed it into law.

3) Virginia Bill (S.B. 42)

Purpose: To prohibit the construction of new fox penning enclosures, although current fox pens may continue to operate until 2054.

History: There has been an ongoing battle to ban fox penning, a cruel “sport” in which organizers force dozens of dogs to compete in a fenced-in area to chase—and sometimes rip apart—foxes and coyotes. The wild animals are caught in leghold traps that cause anguish through broken bones or other wounds, and are transported in cages to the pen. With dogs tearing apart the captive animals, there is a constant demand for fresh wildlife for the fox pens.

2014 SUCCESS: Born Free USA worked closely with a coalition of groups to usher this bill through the legislature, where it ultimately passed and was then signed by the governor. While it is not an outright ban, it is a positive step in a state in which the practice is so entrenched.

Wildlife trade:

Illegal wildlife trade is ranked among the top five global crimes in terms of profitability. The trade in bear gallbladders, sport-hunted wildlife trophies, and other animals—including threatened and endangered species—could drive some populations or species to the brink of extinction. In particular, Born Free USA’s two groundbreaking reports, Ivory’s Curse and Out of Africa, revealed the insidious links between terrorist networks and the ivory trade. To address this crisis, Born Free USA worked on the following bills:

1) Federal Bill: Targeted Use of Sanctions for Killing Elephants in their Range (TUSKER) Act (H.R. 5454)

Purpose: To require certain nations to work with the U.S. on anti-poaching efforts, or face sanctions if they fail to cooperate.

History: As Born Free USA’s Ivory’s Curse report revealed, African nations must play a significant role in cracking down on corruption within governments and poaching within their boundaries. This bill is designed to incentivize African nations to make the poaching crisis a priority.

Progress in 2014: Born Free USA assisted sponsor Rep. DeFazio (D-OR) with crafting the language of the bill. It contributed to the ongoing discussion in Congress about how to best tackle the poaching crisis, and demonstrated that the U.S. is serious about finding a solution.

Outcome: This bill did not make any progress in 2014, but Born Free USA will continue to promote it, as well as other Congressional efforts to end the ivory trade, in 2015.

2) Federal Bill: Rare Cats and Canids Act (H.R. 5836)

Purpose: To provide a source of funding for projects to enhance conservation of international felids and canids.

History: This bill was previously introduced in 2007 and 2009, and it passed the House of Representatives both times. Wild cats and dogs desperately need these conservation efforts. Of the 37 wild felid species worldwide, all but three are currently recognized as species in need of protection. Of the 36 wild canid species worldwide, 20 are recognized as being in need of protection.

Progress in 2014: Born Free USA worked with sponsor Rep. Grijalva (D-AZ) to update the language, find original cosponsors, and recruit the support of other groups before it was introduced.

Outcome: This bill was introduced too late in the session to make progress, but will be reintroduced in 2015.

3) Massachusetts Bill: Shark Fin Ban (H.B. 4088)

Purpose: To prohibit the possession and sale of shark fins, with exemptions for certain species and purposes.

History: Shark finning is a cruel practice in which people cut the fins off of live sharks and return their bodies to the water, where the sharks inevitably die. Similar laws exist in California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Washington, Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

2014 SUCCESS: Born Free USA worked closely with a coalition to usher this bill through the legislature, where it ultimately passed and was signed by the governor. While it is not an outright ban, it is a positive step in a state with a large fishing industry. 

4) New York Bill: Restrict the Sale of Ivory and Rhino Horn (A. 10143/S. 7890)

Purpose: To prohibit the sale, purchase, trade, barter, and distribution of ivory and rhino horn articles, but with certain exemptions.

History: New York had a much weaker law regulating the sale of ivory, but it was not sufficient to ensure that no illegal ivory was sold in the state. As the elephant and rhino poaching crisis grows, New York was one of the first states to recognize the need to crack down on the trafficking of these products.

2014 SUCCESS: Born Free USA worked with partners to provide grassroots support of the bill. The legislature recognized the urgency of this matter and passed the bill, allowing the governor to sign it into law.

5) New Jersey Bill: Ban the Sale of Ivory and Rhino Horn (S. 2012/A. 3128)

Purpose: To prohibit the sale, purchase, or barter of ivory or rhino horn.

History: This bill passed the first year it was introduced, establishing New Jersey as the state with the strongest prohibition on ivory and rhino horn.

2014 SUCCESS: Born Free USA worked closely with partners to secure this bill’s passage, including testifying before a committee, engaging with media, and providing grassroots support. The bill passed the legislature and was signed into law by the governor.

To find out more about these bills, and how to take action, visit

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film “Born Free,” along with their son Will Travers. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.;; and


NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - April     23, 2014) -   The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) and its continuing lawsuits seeking legal rights for four chimpanzees are the focus of The New York Times magazine's cover story this Sunday, April 27th. The article by Charles Siebert is already available online at

Siebert followed attorney Steven M. Wise last year as he prepared a series of groundbreaking lawsuits petitioning courts in New York State to recognize Tommy and three other chimpanzees as having the fundamental legal right to bodily liberty via a writ of habeas corpus.

The article describes how Wise gained access to Tommy, who was being held in a dark shed at a used trailer lot. Another chimpanzee was being held at a private home, and two others at a research laboratory.

The lawsuits, which were filed in December 2013, are based on scientific evidence proving that chimpanzees are self-aware and autonomous, and that these plaintiffs should be released to sanctuaries. The cases are currently making their way through the appellate courts. (Details on the current progress of each case can be found on the NhRP website here.)

"We've been working to bring these cases for 25 years," said attorney Wise. "Charles Siebert's article captures the plight of these animals. They have highly complex levels of cognition, but the legal system still regards them as nothing more than people's property. That's what we're working to change."

The Nonhuman Rights Project is currently preparing future lawsuits on behalf of other cognitively complex, autonomous animals - specifically elephants, orcas and dolphins, and other great apes. 

Video Op-Doc: Also on The New York Times website is a video by Oscar-winning documentarian D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus tracing the journey of Wise and his team as they prepare the cases.

About the Nonhuman Rights Project: The NhRP is the first and only organization demanding that, based on scientific evidence, courts recognize the entitlement of certain nonhuman animals to such basic rights as bodily liberty. 

For more information on the Nonhuman Rights Project, please visit


West Virginia is one of only eight states that lack any substantive restrictions for wild and exotic animals kept by private individuals

Washington, DC, January 21, 2014 -- Born Free USA, a leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, applauds West Virginia state senator Bob Beach (D- Monongalia) for introducing S.B. 371 -- “Prohibiting Possession of Wild and Exotic Animals.”  The bill seeks to improve animal welfare and protect the public from potentially dangerous exotic animals by enacting stricter regulations on exotic animal ownership. West Virginia is one of only eight states that lack any substantive restrictions for wild and exotic animals kept by private individuals, and Senator Beach’s bill would fix this glaring and dangerous legal oversight.

Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA said, “The exotic pet trade is immeasurably cruel to wild animals. These so-called ‘pets,’ endure miserable conditions in captivity – they are usually locked up, isolated, and deprived of the ability to express their natural behaviors. Private owners often extract their teeth and fingernails, among other barbaric practices, in an attempt to ‘tame’ them.  Wild animals belong in the wild and can never be tamed. We cannot allow animals to be mutilated in the name of so-called companionship.”

S.B. 371 would ban the private possession of all “wild and exotic animals” in West Virginia, which are defined as any animals other than domestics and livestock. Exotic animals owned prior to the enactment of this bill can be kept, as long as the owner obtains a permit. The bill is narrowly crafted to ensure that only private owners are affected.  This bill does not apply to accredited exhibitors, nonprofits, animal control agencies, wildlife rehabilitators, veterinary clinics, sanctuaries, researchers, or educational institutions.

“It is time for West Virginia to follow the lead of 42 other states and pass legislation regulating exotic pet ownership,” said Roberts. “Senator Beach has made a powerful statement by introducing this bill, and I hope these long-overdue safeguards are implemented in West Virginia.”

These safeguards are crucial not only for animal welfare, but also for the protection of communities. Born Free USA maintains a database that tracks incidents involving exotic pets ( Since 2000, there have been at least seven reported incidents in West Virginia of exotic pets escaping and threatening public safety.  In Huntington, a 13-year-old girl suffered injuries after being bitten by a “pet” capuchin monkey. In Berkeley County, another monkey who was suspected of having hepatitis B bit three children. Wild and exotic animals can not only injure people, but also pose a disease risk. Primates alone can transmit Ebola, tuberculosis, and herpes-B to humans.

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade.  Born Free USA brings to America the message of “compassionate conservation” -- the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers, now CEO of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.  More at, at Twitter, and on Facebook

December 26, 2014, LOS ANGELES, CA
World-leading campaign organization Animal Defenders International (ADI) is welcoming a number of successes for animals throughout 2013. The organization’s list of top-ten successes from 2013 shows victories for animals all over the world, from the Amazon rainforest to Nevada.

ADI President, Jan Creamer“In 2013 we have secured laws to protect animals, spared animals from laboratories and circuses, and opened people’s eyes and hearts to animals exploited for entertainment and research around the world. We now urgently need to rescue animals from desperate conditions in Peruvian circuses, so please join our team to make the world a better place for those animals and many more by becoming a member today.”

1.  Colombia bans wild animals in circuses. In June, some six years after ADI launched its damning undercover investigation of the Latin American circus industry, Colombia followed Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay with a ban. The campaign was hard fought, with vigorous opposition from Colombia’s powerful circus industry and marks an important win for animals.

2.  Europe bans cosmetics tests on animals. The European Union introduced the final stage of the cosmetics ban, which prohibits the marketing and sale of new animal-tested products from March 11, 2013. ADI and its partner organizations have campaigned for the ban for over 30 years. This vital legislation will put pressure on other countries to follow suit.

3.  ADI invited to rescue Peru’s circus animals. After successfully securing a ban on wild animals in circuses in Peru, the Government has asked ADI to return and help rescue the animals from the dismal conditions. ADI is preparing and conducting a census of the country’s circus animals. This will be ADI’s greatest challenge in 2014 and the organization urgently needs public support to rescue the animals.

4.  Circus ban in El Salvador. El Salvador has become the latest Latin American country to ban the use of wild animals in circuses, with ADI working with local groups to secure success.

5.  “No Fun for Elephants” victories. ADI kicked off 2013 with a new campaign video narrated by Bob Barker, which quickly clocked up victories as five fairs said no to the cruel elephant rides offered by HTWT and Trunks & Humps.

6.  Lion Ark lifts off! In October, ADI’s feature length film documenting the rescue of 25 lions from Bolivian circuses hit the film festival circuit, winning awards, critical acclaim, and the hearts of people who have had their eyes opened to the hidden suffering of circus animals. Lion Ark offers an enjoyable, uplifting and accessible look at the issues faced by circus animals. Watch out for Lion Ark in 2014!

7.  1000s of owl monkeys saved from experiments. This month it was formally announced that the capture of owl monkeys in the Amazon would no longer be permitted. ADI undercover investigators exposed the night-time trapping of the terrified monkeys as they were torn from the trees.

8.  British circus ban moves forward. The legislation for the long promised ban on wild animals in British circuses was finally tabled. But there was another battle as a committee tried to radically reduce the scope of the new law. ADI fought off the attempt and the full ban on wild animals will be put before Parliament.

9.  Baby elephant Lily saved from a life of misery. ADI hit the media nationally across the US, when it learned that notorious trainer Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT) – exposed by an ADI investigation – had a claim on newborn elephant Lily at Oregon Zoo. As a result, the zoo purchased both Lily and her father (owned by HTWT) and tore up the agreement.

10.  Plans for beagle farm defeated. Previously defeated plans for a laboratory beagle factory farm in the UK were re-submitted. ADI’s UK partner organization led the campaign to halt the plans, leading to a national outcry and the plans were denied again!


  1. “Victory: Colombia bans wild animals in circuses”
  2. “Cosmetics Testing Ends in Europe: A victory for ethics and science”
  3. “Help ADI get the animals out of Colombia and Peru’s circuses”
  4. “El Salvador votes to ban wild animals in circuses”
  5. “Bob Barker Spearheads New ADI Campaign to End Elephant Suffering at Fairs”
  6. Lion Ark
  7. “Lab monkey hunt STOPPED!”
  8. “The campaign to end wild animals in circuses in the UK”
  9. “Oregon Zoo Secures Ownership of Baby Elephant Lily”
  10. “NAVS Welcomes Council Decision To Protect Dogs From Laboratories”



Animal Defenders International
With offices in London, Los Angeles and Bogota, ADI campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment, providing technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing the behind-the-scenes suffering in industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport. ADI rescues animals all over the world, educates the public on animals and environmental issues.

Red Granite Pictures, Sikelia Productions, Appian Way and EMJAG Productions present an R-rated, 180 minute biography comedy drama directed by Martin Scorsese and adapted by Terence Winter from the book by Jordan Belfort with a release date of December 25.

Sens. Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kirk (R-Ill.), Cantwell (D-Wash.), and Vitter (R-La.)
reintroduce Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act
to criminalize attendance at animal fights

WASHINGTON, D.C.– The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) commends U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and David Vitter (R-La.) for reintroducing legislation to strengthen laws against animal fighting. The Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act would make it a federal offense to attend an organized animal fight and would impose additional penalties for bringing a minor to an animal fight. The bill will apply federal criminal penalties of up to one year imprisonment and fines for attending an animal fight, and up to three years imprisonment and fines for bringing a minor to an animal fight.

“Animal fights are cruel and gruesome spectacles conducted solely for profit and entertainment,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “A host of other dangerous and illegal activities are frequently associated with animal fighting, including drugs, weapons, and gambling, and this measure would help law enforcement pursue the spectators who drive the market for animal fighting. The ASPCA applauds Senators Blumenthal and Kirk for their persistent leadership in strengthening laws to combat animal fighting and protect public safety.”

Spectators at animal fights are not there accidentally; they intentionally seek out the criminal activity at secret locations, often travelling long distances and crossing state lines for the entertainment of watching animals fight to the death and the opportunity to gamble on the barbaric event. When animal fighting operations are raided, it is a common practice for the organizers, promoters, and animal owners to blend into the crowd of spectators in order to escape law enforcement. This legislation discourages individuals from enabling animal fights with their attendance and ensures that organizers cannot easily hide in the crowd when law enforcement officials arrive.

“Despite efforts by Congress to put an end to animal fighting, this blood sport continues to exist throughout the country, and is financed by thousands of dollars from spectators who contribute to it,” said Sen. Blumenthal. “When animal fighting involves players from a number of different states, local law enforcement simply lacks the power to deal with it and to root out the entire operation. This legislation would prohibit knowingly attending an animal fight, and extend stricter penalties for any individual who knowingly brings a child to an animal fight–closing a final key loophole in federal animal fighting legislation. These crimes are a federal matter and the federal response ought to be as strong as possible. Animal fighting encourages the worst in the human condition, and members from both sides of the aisle have been vocal in their commitment to putting an end to this inhumane activity.”

“By making it a crime to knowingly attend an animal fight, this bill is consistent with state animal fighting laws and will deny event organizers the revenue that funds future events,” said Sen. Kirk. “This bipartisan legislation achieved unanimous approval in the Senate last year. I hope to push for this success again so we can close the loophole that has allowed animal fighting to continue its vicious cycle.”

In the 112th Congress, the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act gained strong bipartisan support in both the U.S. House and Senate and passed the Senate by a voice vote on Dec. 4, 2012. Similar language was also included in the Farm Bill in both the House and Senate last Congress, but efforts to pass a final Farm Bill stalled. Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House earlier this year by U.S. Reps. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), John Campbell (R-Calif.), and Jim Moran (D-Va.). The measure is broadly supported by animal welfare groups and approximately 300 law enforcement organizations.

Last month, at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the United States Attorney’s Office, the ASPCA, in conjunction with the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office and Henry County Sheriff’s Office, assisted in a multi-state, federal dog fighting raid in Missouri, Kansas and Texas. The ASPCA managed the removal and transport of nearly 100 dogs involved in the investigation, and is overseeing forensic evidence collection, as well as the dogs’ veterinary care and sheltering.

For more information on the ASPCA’s efforts to tackle animal fighting and to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Brian A Clark: Drop Charges against Connersville Police Officer and his wife

Started by: John, Greenwood, Indiana

Jeff and Jennifer Counceller thought were doing the right thing when they saved the life of an injured baby deer they found near their home in Indiana. But because they didn't have a permit, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is prosecuting them and they could face up to 60 days in prison. The DNR should drop these charges now.

When they found the fawn on a neighbor’s porch in 2010, she was badly injured with puncture wounds that were infected and had maggots in them. Jennifer, a registered nurse and wound caretaker for the couple’s dogs and horses took the deer home and named it Dani and began nursing the deer back to health.

When they called the DNR they were told to return the deer to the wild and let nature take it’s course. That would have been a death sentence for the deer. Instead, they tried to find Dani a home at animal rescue operations, petting zoos and deer farms, but no one would take her. The Counceller's decided to keep caring for the deer until it was strong enough to make it on it’s own in the wild.

This past summer the DNR started an investigation into the situation and a DNR official recommended they get a permit to rehabilitate Dani. The DNR then denied the permit application and then said the deer would have to killed.

Just before DNR officials arrived at the Counceller's house to kill Dani she escaped through a gate that was left open. Now, the DNR has assigned a special prosecutor to the case and they're charging both Jeff and Jennifer with illegal possession of a white-tailed deer.

Jeff is a police officer and Jennifer is a nurse - these are good people who were just trying to the right thing by saving an injured animal. They don't deserve to go to jail and the DNR should drop all charges against them.

We're asking that you sign the petition and also join the fight on our facebook page at

Click here to sign John's petition, "Brian A Clark: Drop Charges against Connersville Police Officer and his wife".

You can also check out other popular petitions on by clicking here.



We are at a world-changing time in the history of wild animals in captivity and in the wild!!!......WE NEED YOUR HELP IN ORDER FOR TWO ISSUES TO COME TO FRUITION!!!!

First..... the Federal Bill I brought to my U.S. Rep. Buck McKeon to stop the insanity of breeding Exotic Felines such as, Lion, Tiger, Leopard and Jaguar in the U.S. to be sold as pets or for financial gain will be before Congress again within the next few weeks. The title, "Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act", formerly H..R.# 4122, and S. # 3547, will be given new numbers during the coming session.

Please stay on top of this urgently needed bill thru and write to your Congressional Representatives and Senators.

Second....The .U.S. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife is considering and is urgently requesting studied opinions on adding The African Lion to the Endangered Species List. Considering the rapid diminishing numbers of this species due to encroaching civilization, trophy hunting and poaching, (same issues I've talked about for years), it is indeed time we take advantage of this opportunity to let our Government know the severity of this huge problem and encourage them to put the African Lion on the endangered list as stipulated in the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as soon as possible.

Again, we are at a very important time in the History of Greats Cats on our planet. We have until 11: 59 P.M. January 28, 2013 to have your opinion registered!!! After that, your statement may not be registered or given credence!!!!!!

Please, contact friends, family, celebrities to help this monumental problem come to a close!!!!!

Below, you will find information on why it is so urgent to be a part of this movement!!!!....included are important, and not well publicized issues, that will help you with your statements.

U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife link with information

U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife link to make comments


Your voice is important!!!!!......It counts!!!!......Use it!!!!!.....Please, and thank you for caring, and acting on those feelings.

With love for The Wild Ones Everywhere!!!!!







Tippi Hedren

The Roar Foundation

Shambala Preserve

Donate to Shambala

Ohio now joins majority of states in restricting private ownership of dangerous exotic wildlife

(June 5, 2012)—The Humane Society of the United States, Born Free USA and the ASPCA® issued the following statements in response to Ohio Gov. John Kasich enacting the Dangerous Wild Animal Act into law. Introduced by state Sen. Troy Balderson, R-Zanesville, the bill was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives by a vote of 87 to 9 on May 22, and the Ohio Senate by a 30 to 1 vote in April. With Gov. Kasich’s signature, there remain only six states with little to no restrictions on the private possession of dangerous wild animals—Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina and Wisconsin.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS stated, “Common sense, rather than tragedy, should drive public policy decisions, but sometimes it takes a high-profile event to focus the attention of lawmakers on issues not in the headlines. For all the states that have not adopted sensible policies on private ownership of dangerous exotics, the grim drama that played out in Zanesville should provide all of the evidence they need to get cracking and adopt strict and sensible policies. We are grateful to Governor Kasich and the legislature for standing firm on this issue, and working to protect animal welfare and public safety.”

“The ASPCA commends Gov. Kasich for recognizing the need to regulate dangerous exotic animals and ensuring the safety of Ohio residents, as well as the health and well-being of wild animals kept as pets,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “Safety should always be the paramount concern of lawmakers, and having dangerous exotic animals in our communities, without any regulation or restrictions, threatens us all and the animals pay the ultimate price.”

Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA added, “Today marks a strong—and long overdue—step forward in protecting exotics and Ohioans from the dangerous and inhumane ‘pet’ wildlife trade. Born Free USA knows the cruel effects of the trade firsthand. Many of our Primate Sanctuary residents were rescued from abusive situations in which they were forced into captivity as someone's pet. There is an epidemic in this country of owning wild animals as ‘pets’ and it must stop. As documented by Born Free USA's Exotic Animal Incidents Database, numerous incidents involving death and injuries to humans from captive ‘pets’ occur regularly and nationwide. We commend Governor Kasich for signing this urgently needed public safety and animal welfare measure into law, and we urge other states to follow suit.”

The new law will:
• Ban new ownership of dangerous wild animals, including big cats, some smaller exotic cats, bears, hyenas, gray wolves, non-human primate species, alligators and crocodiles in Ohio;
• Grandfather existing animals so people who currently have them can keep them, as long as they obtain a permit;
• Require owners of exotic animals covered under the grandfather clause to acquire liability insurance or surety bonds ranging from $200,000 to $1 million;
• Require existing owners of exotic animals to comply with housing and safety standards that will be established by the Ohio Department of Agriculture; and
• Require criminal background checks to qualify for a permit for owners of existing exotic animals.

The exotic pet trade is a multi-billion dollar industry that contributes to the suffering of millions of animals, often threatening public health and safety, disrupting ecosystems and driving species to endangerment and extinction. Each year across the nation, countless numbers of exotic animals are purchased as pets at retail stores and from private breeders and dealers at auctions or over the Internet. Since the vast majority of people who keep exotic animals cannot meet their needs, the animals often become the victims of abuse and neglect—they are caged, chained, tranquilized or even beaten into submission.

Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “HumaneTV” app.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to

About Born Free USA
Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of “compassionate conservation” -- the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers, now CEO of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at:; twitter; Facebook

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