ADLA Upcoming Events

Submitted by ADLA on 11/30/2014 - 6:22pm

Save the Date for These Upcoming Events

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Report Released on Dog Deaths at Gilbert Kennel

Submitted by ADLA on 10/29/2014 - 3:58pm

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office released their report today on the tragic deaths ofPhoto: Maricopa County  Sheriff's Office over 20 dogs at the Green Acre Kennel last June. You can read it online here. The report is almost 2,000 pages long so if you have trouble loading it, we have posted it in two parts. You can download it at:http://bit.ly/ADLA-MCSOReport

The owners of the kennel appeared in Maricopa County Superior Court today and pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of felony and misdemeanor animal abuse and other violations (read more)

 

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October is Outdoor Cat Month!

Submitted by ADLA on 10/03/2014 - 10:24am

ADLA’s Spay Neuter Hotline has already sterilized over 11,000 cats this year Mac the October Catthrough Trap Neuter Return, but we are just warming-up! Check out all of this month's upcoming events here!

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Federal Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Cruelty Charges against Former Wildlife Services Employee

Submitted by ADLA on 08/06/2014 - 2:38pm

A Federal Court judge has denied former Wildlife Services employee Russell Zoey after recovery (photo: Britan Hartt)Files’ motion to dismiss felony animal cruelty charges.   The motion was based on what the Court described as a “seldom-litigated principle of federal constitutional law- federal Supremacy Clause immunity- to bar the State of Arizona from prosecuting him for animal cruelty.” 

This is the latest development in a case that has factually and legally been full of firsts, accroding to ADLA president and attorney Stephanie Nichols-Young. 

Files was arrested on December 18th, 2012 and later charged in Maricopa County Superior Court with one count of felony animal cruelty after he used a leghold trap to trap a neighbor’s dog, Zoey, who was severely injured in the incident. Files placed the trap in his unfenced front yard. Police report is posted here (warning - graphic images) 

Wildlife Services - a division of the USDA, is often criticized for its practices in killing large numbers of wildlife and unintentionally targeted pets. However, it is unusual for the agency to go after an individual pet in this manner.

  • The case was designated a violent crime by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Margaret Mahoney - an unusual designation in animal cruelty cases.
  • The defense successfully had the case removed to federal court - also unusual in a criminal case.
  • In denying the request to dismiss charges, Judge Jack Zouhary noted that “The [Supremacy Clause] defense does not protect a federal officer who misuses his or her position to further wholly personal interests.” 

Judge Zouhary presided over a two- day evidentiary hearing to hear evidence relevant to the motion.  In his 17 page Opinion and Order he noted that:

Files violated generally applicable agency policies in the course of setting the traps;

Files did not complete necessary paperwork before setting the traps;

Files did not disclose key facts to his supervisors, and his approach to them was not made in good faith;

Files had an actual conflict of interest;

Files defied his supervisor’s instructions.

The entire Opinion is posted here

The next hearing in this matter is scheduled for August 19th at 4:00 PM at in Courtroom 603, 401 West Washington Street in Phoenix before Judge David G Campbell.

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New AZ Law Requires Injury Reporting at Tucson Dog Track!

Submitted by Karen Michael on 05/26/2014 - 12:02pm

Governor Brewer signed the law requiring full public reporting of greyhound injuries Jett (photo: Karyn Zoldan)and deaths at Tucson Greyhound Park! Thanks to Representatives Ethan Orr & John Kavanagh, GREY2K USA, The Humane Society of the United States - Arizona, Animal Defense League of Arizona, Humane Voters of AZ, Susan Via, Jamie Massey, Joe Romack, Nancy Young Wright, Caryn Wood, Karyn Zoldan, Sylvia Arena, and all the advocates who contacted legislators!

Click here for the Tucson News video on the new law.

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Helping Cat Colonies Facing Potential Crisis

Submitted by Karen Anderson on 04/25/2014 - 4:53pm

 In recent months the Spay Neuter Hotline has been contacted regarding  cat colonies believed to be facing some type of crisis in the areas they  call home. When these instances arise there are things you can do to help.

·         Try to find a contact at the business or community that you can speak with to get the facts.

·         Remain calm and respectful when you reach out to the contact and try to find out the exact situation from the source.

·         Offer  information and assistance with trap neuter return.

·         Explain why trap neuter return is the most humane and effective way to control the cat populations living on the streets in our community.

·         Rally people that live in the community or are affiliated with the business that are feeding and/or caring for the cats to step up and become the cat management team.

·         Provide training on best practices for managing the colony starting with fixing All the cats in the area.

·         If you’re feeding cats make sure the first thing you do is get them all fixed A.S.A.P. before a problem arises.

Spay Neuter Hotline is happy to provide resources to assist you in educating individuals and the community as a whole about TNR.  We can provide information to you that you can give to others explaining TNR, how our program works, Best practices for colony management and tips for starting a TNR project in the community.  The best way to get people on board with TNR is to show them that it works.

Through our program we have fixed over 60,000 cats since 2009. In order for us to be successful and continue to fix as many cats as we do, we have to stay on task. We rely heavily on the cat community to educate and advocate for outdoor cats.

Please remember if you feed outdoor cats, you have to get them fixed.

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Damaging Animal Cruelty Bill is Dead!

Submitted by Karen Michael on 04/25/2014 - 12:31pm

We are ecstatic to report that the Arizona legislative session adjourned early today without passing the bill that would have severely damaged our animal cruelty law! Arnold (photo: Nancy Nenad)#1267/HB2587, was proposed by the agriculture industry, and as introduced would have prevented law enforcement from investigating animal cruelty and criminalized those who expose animal abuse. Although the #ag-gag language was removed, the bill would have significantly weakened protection for farm animals, made it harder for prosecutors to convict abusers, and created broad exemptions with unknown negative consequences.

Your advocacy, coupled with the united support of many local and national animal welfare groups as well as the collaborative work of coalition partners, including the Animal Cruelty Taskforce of Southern Arizona, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Arizona Coalition for Equines, Arizona Humane Society, ASPCA, Humane Society of Southern Arizona, The Humane Society of the United States, and Humane Voters of AZ contributed to this very important victory. Thank you.

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Update on Animal Cruelty Bill

Submitted by Karen Michael on 03/09/2014 - 1:25pm

The Livestock Cruelty Bill HB 2587 passed out of the House committee, despite more than 100 people attending to oppose it! It is scheduled to be heard on the House floor tomorrow. In the meantime, a similar bill was introduced in the Senate and rushed through the committee process. SB 1267 is also headed for a vote by the full Senate. 

These bills are being rammed through the Legislature by out of touch lawmakers that are beholden to agriculture industry lobbyists, and we need to stop them! Thanks to the tremendous outcry of opposition from animal protection groups, law enforcement and others, amendments are being proposed that will remove the penalty for those that expose animal abuse.

Unfortunately, the bill would STILL do much more harm than good for the animals in our state (see concerns below). We should be strengthening our animal cruelty laws for all animals – not allowing the agriculture industry to decide which animals should be protected. In fact, according to a recent poll, 87 percent of AZ voters surveyed reported that they oppose putting farm animals in a separate, weaker anti-cruelty code. 

Take Action here!

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Help Stop Bills Targeting Wolves!

Submitted by ADLA on 02/23/2014 - 10:31am

At last count, only 83 Mexican gray wolves persisted in the wild. The wild population is at tremendous risk due to its small size and genetics. But there are three bills in the Arizona Legislature that could push this tiny, critically endangered population of wolves even closer to extinction. Two of these measures will be voted on by the entire Senate on Monday. Read more

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Urgent: Stop Arizona Ag-Gag Bill!

Submitted by Karen Michael on 02/09/2014 - 11:27am

Arizona Legislators have just introduced a devastating 'ag-gag' bill that would criminalize whistleblowers who expose animal abuse on factory farms, auctions, or slaughter facilities. The bill also weakens cruelty laws for livestock, including Photo: Animal Welfare Institutehorses, and completely removes all protections from cruelty for poultry.

House Bill 2587 criminalizes the actions of those who document any animal cruelty. It requires video and photos of abuse to be turned in to the Department of Agriculture within five days, creating such a short timeline that no pattern of abuse can be documented.

And if that's not bad enough, this bill changes Arizona's strong definition of 'animal' under the animal cruelty law, removing livestock from its protection. It creates new weakened laws for farm animals and removes all authority from law enforcement to investigate abuse of livestock, including horses. It transfers sole authority to the Department of Agriculture, which has only a small number of livestock officers to cover the entire state.

Click here for more information including how you can help stop this bill.

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