Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Florida Bar Animal Law Committee Update

The Florida Bar's Animal Law Committee has been busy this year.  Here is an update on their activities:

Therapy Dogs in Courts
We previously circulated information and articles about circuit courts adopting programs for the use of therapy dogs in cases involving children testifying in criminal and dependency cases.  We recently met with some of the people spearheading the effort in the Second Judicial Circuit and they asked us to share their new website and videoThe video features interviews with state attorneys and several judges that have used dogs in the courtroom.  They have also made key documents available on the court's website for other jurisdictions to use.

Local Government - Breeder's Ordinance
As reported in a recent Sun-Sentinel article, Broward County has adopted an ordinance placing limitations on breeding pets in an effortto cut down on unwanted dogs and cats.  We are also are interested in monitoring the impact of the ordinance and learning if any other local governments have adopted similar measures.  If you are aware of any such ordinances or plans, please let us know.  Hat tip to ALC member Paul Wean for providing a copy of the ordinance.

Appellate Cases

The Florida Supreme Court in Harris v. State issued its opinion on remand from the U.S.Supreme Court on the certification and use of drug sniffing dogs. The Second District in Brooks v. State found that the necessity defense does not apply to animals in a DUI case. The driver was pulled over for a DUI while taking a friend's cat to an all-night vet clinic.  Hat tip to ALC member Zachary Lawton and Jenny Bauer for notifying us about the opinions.

Administrative Law
The latest copy of the Administrative Law Section's newsletter is available as a pdf download here. The case law synopses contain descriptions of recent appellate and DOAH decisions involving cases brought by the Florida Wildlife Federation and a rule challenge involving barrel horse racing.
The upcoming legislative session is shaping up to be an active one in the area of animal law with several bills already prefiled. As in past years, ALC Chair Ralph Demeo will provide updates during session as the bills move through the legislative process.

Education Law
Stetson Law School's webinar from earlier this year on the legal issues involved with emotional support animals in campus housing is now availableonline.  You can register here for $25.

Habeas Petitions Filed on Behalf of Chimpanzees
In an update to earlier information we circulated, Steven Wise of the Nonhuman Rights Projects filed its first round of habeas petitions on behalf of captive chimpanzees earlier this week. Professor Wise teaches at St. Thomas Law School and has lectured at ALC CLE programs in the past.  In addition to a number of other news outlets, the New York Times ran an article about the habeas petitions.  The documents that were filed are available here at the NRP's website.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Give Thanks to Your Pet

This holiday season, if you plan to share some of your Thanksgiving dinner with your beloved pet, here are some guidelines for doing so safely.  

Give Thanks to Your Pet

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

November is Adopt-a-Senior Pet Month!

PetSmart Charities EDU
Happy Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month! We have some great webinars coming to you this November that will help you adopt more pets and hopefully reduce the number of pets your organization must intake. So put your thinking caps on and join one or more of these upcoming webinars. 

Help Owners Plan for the Possibility Their Pets May Outlive Them
Presented by Amy Shever, founder, 2nd Chance 4 Pets
November 13 at 8 a.m. PST

It is estimated that close to 500,000 pets end up at animal shelters each year simply because their pet owners passed away or became too ill to care for them. Typically  “orphaned” pets do not do well in the shelter environment--they become despondent, won’t eat, and are labeled “unadoptable”. The webinar will cover:
  • What options are available to ensure “lifetime care” for pets including:
    • emergency planning
    • wills and estates
    • pet trusts
    • animal care panels
    • sanctuaries
    • perpetual care programs
    • willing a pet to rescue groups or shelter
  • How your organization can provide resources and education to your community of pet parents by:
    • Following-up with new pet adopters
    • Holding local workshops
    • Providing information in your newsletters and websites

Using Feline Evaluations To Boost Adoptions
Presented by Stacy McDonald, Site Manager - Coon Rapids location, Animal Humane SocietyNovember 6 at 12 p.m. PST

After a UC Davis consult, Animal Humane Society in Minnesota launched Bound for Home, a multifaceted initiative to improve quality of care, decrease length of stay (LOS), slash euthanasia rates, and drive placement rates. An important element of the initiative’s success was the development of a tool to evaluate felines. This webinar will cover the specific elements of the tool, how it was created, how you can use it to reduce feline LOS and increase health in your shelter.

Enrolling is Easy
1. Click a session title
2. Log in to your learning community account or create a new account

Forgot your password? Reset it at http://bit.ly/16VlrGH)
Have questions? Email learning@petsmartcharities.org
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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Is it an FDA Lie or FDA Neglect?

Just because a government agency says something, it doesn't mean it is true.  Be sure and research all the facts and then decide what is right for you and your pet.  

Is it an FDA Lie or FDA Neglect?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Florida Bar's Animal Law Committee Needs Your Help

Attn:  Florida Lawyers
The Florida Bar's Animal Law Committee Needs Your Help!

What is the Animal Law Committee?
The Animal Law Committee (ALC) monitors and informs the members of the Florida Bar and the public of significant developments in the area of animal law. The ALC takes an ac-tive role in communicating about and reviewing proposed legislative changes and holds an annual seminar addressing animal law issues, including how such issues affect more tradi-tional legal practice areas. We meet at least three times a year to share new information regarding this practice area. In general, the ALC brings together attorneys who have differ-ent backgrounds and experience with regard to a variety of animal law issues. 

The ALC’s current goal
The ALC is in the midst of a membership drive to help reach section status. This is an op-portunity to make a real difference in animal law and with minimal effort. The Florida Bar has made it clear membership must increase before we submit a request to become a sec-tion. Section status is a critical goal. Section status will also allow us to engage in a num-ber of activities that we are currently prohibited or restricted from pursuing, including but not limited to increasing publications and drafting and supporting legislation. It will allow us to make a far greater impact in animal law.

How you can assist the ALC.
Join the ALC. Preference forms to join the Committee become available in December and the window to join is normally open from December 1 to approximately January 14. We request that attorneys with an interest in this legal area email Gil Panzer at gil@gilpanzerlaw.com and commit to complete the committee preference form in Decem-ber with a request to be on the ALC. We further request that attorneys contact as many other attorneys as possible to let them know about joining the ALC. You will be added to the ALC email distribution list so that you receive reminders when the window to file pref-erence forms opens.

Thank you for your help.
The Florida Bar has approximately 96,511 members currently. Quite often, we hear Bar members state they had no idea there was an animal law committee. For this reason, we are hopeful many more Bar members exist who are interested in the committee and will join. If we all help spread the word and emphasize the importance of our current member-ship drive, we can succeed. We sincerely hope those of you working in an office will ask your colleagues if they know about the ALC and are interested in joining. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Two Pet Related Lawsuits

One lawsuit is against Mars Petcare, another against Nestle Purina.  The Mars Petcare lawsuit is concerning employees of the pet food plant – but mentions some significant concerns related to pet food.  The Nestle Purina lawsuit will continue despite Purina trying to dismiss it.

Two Pet Related Lawsuits

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Remember Pets When Estate Planning | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

 Here's the story of two dogs whose owner put them in the backyard, went to work and died of a heart attack.  They ended up living on the street until rescued by a woman who was concerned about them. 

Your pets deserve to be included in your planning in the event of an emergency.  Include an emergency alert card in your wallet to let people know that you have pets at home that need to be cared for. 

Your pets also deserve to be included in your estate planning to provide an alternate caregiver if something happens to you. 

Remember Pets When Estate Planning | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Sunday, September 15, 2013

This is So Wrong

In 2006, the National Research Council published the Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats – of which laws governing pet food will soon be based.  Take a guess who paid for this 2006 report?  Three guesses, first two don’t count.

Read more...This is So Wrong

Darwin the Ikea monkey: Former owner loses court battle for custody | Toronto Star

Oshawa judge finds Darwin is a wild animal, and Yasmin Nakhuda "lost ownership of the monkey when she lost possession."

Darwin the Ikea monkey: Former owner loses court battle for custody | Toronto Star

Monday, September 9, 2013

Heads Up to a new deadly virus killing dogs.

A deadly virus is sickening and killing dogs – confirmed in two states thus far.  Here is what we know and what to watch out for with your dog.  Read more...

Heads Up to a new deadly virus killing dogs.