USING SPECIAL MASTERS TO ADVANCE THE GOALS OF ANIMAL PROTECTION LAW (.pdf file - 94.96 KB)
By Alexis C. Fox
This article suggests that courts should appoint special masters to large-scale animal abuse cases. The work of special masters in two recent high profile cases, Sarah v. PPI and Vick, demonstrate that special masters can help advance the goals of the animal protection movement in three ways. First, special masters can ensure that individual animal victims are cared for once they are rescued from large-scale abuse situations. Second, court orders that appoint special masters to large-scale animal abuse cases insert a best-interest-of-the-animal analysis into formal court proceeding. Finally, court appointed special masters may encourage better enforcement of animal protection laws by taking responsibility for animal victims from local officials. In addition to advocating for special master appointments in large-scale animal abuse cases, this article discusses some of the possible barriers courts and advocates might face when appointing special masters to large-scale animal abuse cases.