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Nov 22, 2010

BATON ROUGE, La. – This morning, the national non-profit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a petition with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, requesting that they revoke, and deny renewal of, the permit allowing Michael Sandlin to exhibit a male Siberian tiger named Tony at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, La. Tony has been on exhibit at the truck stop since 2000; he has lived there with no other tiger companions since 2003, when the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) seized three other tigers from Sandlin due to violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

Why are attorneys and activists up in arms about Tony’s tenure at the Tiger Truck Stop? In addition to being subjected to noise and diesel fumes 24-hours a day, Tony is also subjected to frequent harassment and taunting by visitors at the truck stop. His enclosure is devoid of adequate enrichment, such as logs, trees, or complex vegetation that would allow him to engage in natural tiger behaviors. He has no pool of water large enough to allow him to submerge himself to cool off in the blazing heat of the summer. As a result of confinement, Tony exhibits neurotic pacing behavior on the hard concrete surface of his enclosure, putting him at risk for dangerous and painful veterinary conditions. Sandlin, the owner of Tony and the truck stop, has been cited by the USDA due to violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including a lack of proper sanitation and improper feeding practices. 

ALDF’s petition argues that Sandlin’s existing permit for Tony, which is up for annual renewal on December 14, 2010, is in violation of both state and Iberville Parish ordinances. Further, the petition argues that the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has no legal authority under Louisiana law to issue a permit for Sandlin’s possession of Tony, and that the Department’s granting of his current permit was unlawful.

“Mr. Sandlin’s failure to keep Tony in an environment that is responsive to both his physical and psychological needs is not only inhumane—it is illegal” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “We urge the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to comply with already-existing regulations designed to protect tigers like Tony, and to end his daily torment by refusing to sentence him to another year of diesel fumes, harassment, and the unimaginable suffering of life in his lonely cage.”
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Posted: Nov 22, 2010 3:41pm
May 11, 2010
Focus: Animal Welfare
Action Request: Petition
Location: United States

Today, the Animal Legal Defense Fund shipped thousands of signed petitions to the Kentucky state capitol, urging better protection for the state’s homeless animals—and celebrated actress Ashley Judd is the latest advocate to join the campaign. Though Hollywood knows her for her starring roles in movies like Kiss the Girls, Double Jeopardy, De-Lovely, and Tooth Fairy, Ashley is first and foremost a Kentucky girl—which is why she has signed the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s petition to urge Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to protect Kentucky’s homeless animals through tough enforcement of the state’s Humane Shelter Law.

A University of Kentucky graduate and avid Wildcats fan, Ashley also has a passion for protecting animals. As her signed petition makes its way to the governor’s desk, animal lovers around the country can join her by signing on their support in ALDF’s just-launched online petition drive to help the state’s suffering strays.

What’s Wrong with Kentucky Shelters?

Kentucky’s Humane Shelter Law, passed in 2004, requires each county to provide basic care for its stray cats and dogs, including food and water, shelter, and humane euthanasia—as well as a chance to be reunited with their lost families or adopted into new, loving homes. However, because the law is not being enforced, many of Kentucky’s animals continue to suffer and die in deplorable conditions. Ashley’s signed petition to Governor Beshear notes, “As a supporter of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, I strongly urge you to step in and end the suffering of all innocent animals in Kentucky by pressing the legislature to act and have the state take back responsibility for oversight of these shelters.”

Taking Kentucky Counties to Court
Over the past two years, ALDF has filed lawsuits in two particularly problematic Kentucky counties—Robertson and Estill—that helped put an end to the abuse and neglect of homeless dogs and cats in those counties, which had not been in compliance with the state’s Humane Shelter Law. Most recently, ALDF negotiated an agreement with Rockcastle County resulting in dramatically improved conditions for some of the state’s most desperately needy animals. Before ALDF’s intervention,  gravely ill and injured animals were left to languish in their cages with no medical treatment, often facing attack from other animals who are housed with them (in one instance, a large dog literally ate two puppies who were housed with him); unaltered male and female animals were housed together, resulting in pregnancies and exacerbating the overpopulation crisis; and dogs were forced to relieve themselves, sleep, and even eat their food directly off of the same filthy kennel floors.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund will not stop in our fight to push Kentucky’s 120 counties to protect their animals, but it is a long, uphill battle. That’s why we’re asking animal lovers everywhere to join Ashley by signing the petition to Governor Beshear, urging him to step in and end the suffering of Kentucky’s innocent homeless cats and dogs.

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Posted: May 11, 2010 4:25pm
Apr 27, 2010
Focus: Animal Welfare
Action Request: Petition
Location: United States

Last year, Americans spent roughly $18 billion dollars on coffee—and virtually nothing to protect animals from some of the worst abuses imaginable. Is this who we are? Check out our brand new video to see why, at the Animal Legal Defense Fund, we believe that we are better than that—and we’re fighting every day to win the case against cruelty for our country’s animals. The fantastic song providing the soundtrack is “How We Operate,” courtesy of Gomez and ATO Records. Watch the video here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUgh_YFYeMc

Sign ALDF’s Animal Bill of Rights to let your Congresspersons know that you believe America’s animals deserve better. Sign on your support and speak out to your lawmakers today!

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Posted: Apr 27, 2010 2:38pm
Mar 10, 2010
Focus: Animal Welfare
Action Request: Visit - online
Location: United States

Change.org has launched their second annual Ideas for Change in America 2010‏ competition. Like last year, ALDF has submitted the Animal Bill of Rights as our idea and we need you to get on Change.org and vote! The top 10 most popular ideas will be announced at an event in Washington, DC in March and presented to relevant officials in the Obama Administration.

To vote, simply click on the box next to our idea “Provide Legal Protections for Animals Through the Animal Bill of Rights" here: http://tinyurl.com/5dy8bh

If you are not already a Change.org member & signed in, you will be prompted to submit your name and email address. Please make sure to check your email’s inbox for a message from Change.org to confirm your address and then vote! We made it into the 2nd round last year and we’re determined to reach the top 10 this year. Voting ends this Friday March 12th, so please vote today!

After you’ve voted on Change.org, please promote our idea by clicking on the Facebook icon under ‘Share this idea!’

Thank you for your support!

-ALDF

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Posted: Mar 10, 2010 4:36pm
Jan 6, 2010
Focus: Animal Welfare
Action Request: Write E-Mail
Location: United States

Robert Brunette was found guilty after approximately 40 allegedly starving dogs and puppies were seized from filthy and dangerous conditions on his property. Please take action now to encourage a meaningful sentencing.

(Santa Cruz County, CA) His dogs’ living conditions long a concern to his neighbors, Robert Brunette was arrested in late July 2008 after approximately 40 allegedly starving dogs and puppies were seized from filthy and dangerous conditions on his property.

Also reportedly found by authorities were the various remains of an unknown number of dogs, including a severed head which hung from a tree branch.

Brunette, who is said to have advertised and sold his dogs for profit in the San Francisco area, is currently facing 10 counts of animal cruelty, 2 of which are felony charges. Earlier attempts by authorities to intervene on this property and secure relief for the dogs living there were unsuccessful.

Please visit the website below to send a letter, encouraging a thorough prosecution and meaningful sentencing upon conviction – sentencing which should include an order prohibiting the future possession of any animals for a significant length of time.

It's fast & easy, click the link:

http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5154/t/3044/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=506

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Posted: Jan 6, 2010 4:13pm
Jun 15, 2009
Focus: Animal Welfare
Action Request: Write E-Mail
Location: United States

Contact your United States Representative today and ask him or her to help end the abusive practice of transporting horses by double-decker trailers and to stop the slaughter of horses for human consumption by co-sponsoring and supporting H.R. 305 and H.R. 503.

Send your letter here!

These two important bills have recently been introduced in Congress and need the support of your United States Representative:

The Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2009 (H.R. 305) will ban the use of double-decker livestock trailers in the interstate transportation of horses. While current law prohibits the use of these trailers in transporting horses to slaughter, a loophole exists that allows their transportation to any other non-slaughter location, e.g. feedlots, auctions and other facilities. These low-ceiling double-decker trailers were not designed for horses, and horses forced onto them must endure having their heads bent over for hours upon hours in overcrowded conditions while suffering a high risk of sustaining injury or even death.

The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 503) will end the slaughter of horses for human consumption and the domestic and international transport of live horses or horseflesh for human consumption. Currently, tens of thousands of horses are transported to international destinations to suffer inhumane slaughter in order to please the palates of those in other countries who consume horses. The predecessor to this bill came very close to being passed during the last session of Congress, and now is the time to ensure this bill becomes law.

Please contact your United States Representative today and ask him or her to support H.R. 305 and H.R. 503.

Let Congress know that joining your voice are the voices of over a quarter of a million people who have signed ALDF’s Animal Bill of Rights, supporting the belief that horses, and all animals, should be free from exploitation and abuse by humans.

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Posted: Jun 15, 2009 1:44pm
May 22, 2009
Focus: Animal Welfare
Action Request: Write E-Mail
Location: United States

Help us put an end to dogfighting and create strong laws for animals so criminals like Michael Vick receive meaningful sentences!

Contact your state legislators today!

Although animal fighting is illegal in all 50 states, the Animal Legal Defense Fund is working to make such crimes easier to prosecute and punishable by stronger penalties. ALDF has drafted a recommended amendment to state laws that would enable prosecutors to charge dogfighters under the respective state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (commonly referred to as "RICO") statute. Applied to animal fighting, RICO – which was originally designed to be a weapon against a wide variety of organized criminal efforts, including drug dealing and gambling – would give prosecutors increased muscle in seeking justice for the animals abused, and, as in the Vick case, even executed by their owners.

Take action by writing to your state legislators today about enacting or enhancing your state’s RICO law. ALDF can provide our model law that was enacted in Virginia, and can also provide your legislators with a detailed legislative analysis of your state’s laws to provide customized solutions for your state.

Send a letter to your state representatives now!

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Posted: May 22, 2009 2:58pm
Apr 28, 2009

I just wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU to everyone who has joined ALDF's Care2 group page. We're especially grateful to Cher, a phenomenal animal activist, who has extended an invite to all of her Care2 friends to join ALDF's page!

Please check back regularly for new updates. You can also join our Facebook page here.

Thank you again for all you do for animals,

Megan Backus

Media Relations Associate

Animal Legal Defense Fund

www.aldf.org

 

 

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Posted: Apr 28, 2009 5:01pm
Apr 28, 2009

New Video of Rescued Horses Twister and River

 

It was the dead of winter and the grass was eaten down to the ground - there was no sign of edible hay anywhere on the Keating's North Carolina pasture. Eight horses - one pregnant mare, three mares with babies, and a stallion - had been eating bark off of trees in a desperate attempt to get something into their stomachs.

Rain, one of the eight horses would die from the Keatings' neglect, but thanks to the action of a concerned neighbor, the seven surviving horses were seized and are now recovering at the United States Equine Rescue League sanctuary. On the heels of their rescue, ALDF filed a lawsuit against Michael, Judy and Gayle Keating, the three individuals responsible for these horses' well-being.

Watch a new video of Twister and River, two of the young rescued horses, and follow our progress in court on May 18th as our team of attorneys fights for permanent custody of Groucho - the neglected stallion who has since been brought to safety, but whose legal ownership is still in question. You can follow ALDF's blog or Facebook page to keep up-to-date with developments on this case as they happen.

 

Please help sustain our fight for these horses and other animals in need. Together, we can lead the fight against animal abuse across the county and ensure that people who abuse animals are brought to justice!

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Posted: Apr 28, 2009 4:59pm
Apr 7, 2009
Focus: Animal Welfare
Action Request: Write E-Mail
Location: United States

21 Protected Birds Shot to Death

Send a letter here!

(Collier County, Fla.) On February 17, 2009, Officer Dan Stermen of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) heard gunshots coming from a known nesting area for birds. He and Lt. Wayne Maahs observed people shooting the birds as they were coming home to roost. The officers actually witnessed birds falling to the ground. They arrested seven people, initially charging four with misdemeanor trespassing and charging three with felony trespassing with a firearm. They confiscated rifles, shotguns and pistols, and collected the bodies of 21 dead birds, who are protected by federal law and/or protected in Florida as “species of special concern,” including white ibises, blue herons, a tri-colored heron and a snowy egret. According to an FWC spokesperson, “One of the lieutenants involved in this said that in his 27 years in the job, he had never seen such callous treatment of wildlife. These people were just firing for fun.

U.S. Navy officials identified four of the seven suspects as recent graduates of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. who are currently enrolled at the Naval Aviation Schools Command in Pensacola, Fla. The suspects are Joseph William Gursky, Mark Lewis McClure, Cullen Mark Shaughnessy, and Alexander Bruce Wilhelm. The Navy is conducting an internal investigation into their involvement in the bird shootings. The other three suspects are Keith G. Lisa, Zachary James Mato, and Stephanie Marie Meads. Besides the trespassing charges, State and Federal charges are pending against all seven suspects.

Here is a news story, including photos and video, about this incident:
Men accused of killing wading birds were Navy officers in training
Naples Daily News, February 21, 2009

Take Action!
Please contact the FWC to thank Officer Dan Stermen and Lt. Wayne Maah for their work in conducting the investigation into this shocking massacre of wildlife. Polite letters may be written to the Navy to secure an end to the four naval officers’ careers—they need to turn in their uniforms and commissions because, based on these allegations, their conduct demonstrates that they are unfit and wholly unworthy of the uniform.

Letter #1:
You may praise the investigative work of Officer Dan Stermen and Lt. Wayne Maah here:

FWC Community Relations Office
Phone: 850-488-4676
Or use the FWC comment form at:
http://www.floridaconservation.org/CONTACT/Contact_PraiseEmployee.asp

Letter #2:
You may mail polite letters asking the Navy to discharge the officers named above here or use our automated form below:

Captain William P. Reavey, Jr.
Commanding Officer
Naval Air Station Pensacola
190 Radford Blvd.
Pensacola, FL 32508-5217
Or use the general email for the Naval Air Station Pensacola:
NASP_PAO_WebPage@navy.mil

Click here for letter writing tips.

Click here to send an email through our site's automated system.

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Posted: Apr 7, 2009 11:40am

 

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Megan Backus
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Santa Rosa, CA, USA
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