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November News

 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) calls off bear hunt after 295 bears shot in two days. The bear hunt, the first in 21 years in the state, was opposed by advocacy groups who unsuccessfully challenged the hunt in court. While the bear population has increased, the SunSentinel reports that a population survey has not been completed in over a decade. According to FWC Director Nick Wiley, "the hunt is a tool being used to stabilize bear subpopulation numbers." To read more about black bear management by the FWC, see the page at

 Advocacy group Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) files class action lawsuit against "Barkworks Pups & Stuff" pet store chain from Southern California. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of purchasers of puppies who allege that Barkworks violated California consumer protection laws by selling sick puppies that were bred in "puppy mills." The complaint contends that Barkworks explicitly represented that the dogs were not from puppy mills and that each dog had been examined and treated by veterinarians. ALDF states that the retailer misrepresented the breeders as "reputable," fabricated breeder certificates, provided inaccurate breeder records and license numbers, and deceived consumers about veterinary care. For more and to read a copy of the complaint filed in the case, see

 Massachusetts state legislators propose animal abuse registry. The proposed bill (H. 1385) would establish an animal abuse registry for those previously convicted of an animal abuse crime that would be available for viewing by animal shelter staff, pet stores, and breeders. The bill aims to give these entities more information on individuals before adopting out or selling an animal. It is a crime under the proposed legislation to knowingly fail to register under act AND for a required entity to fail to check the registration information prior to offering, selling, or giving away an animal. A first conviction under the act would result in imprisonment for not less than 6 months to no more than two and one-half years, or by a fine of up to $1,000 or by both. To read the bill, see H. 1385 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

 New comparative table of state laws on dangerous dog laws just published! Our site has recently completed an in-depth table of laws for the 39 states that have dangerous dog codes. The table explores how each state defines a "dangerous dog," the conditions for owning such a dog, the procedure for determining whether a dog is dangerous, euthanasia provisions, and penalties owners may face. Does your state have dangerous dog laws? Find out by viewing the Table of Dangerous Dog Laws.


New archives


Am. Wild Horse Pres. Campaign v. Vilsack,  --- F.Supp.3d ----2015 WL 5726880 (D.D.C., 2015). The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (Plaintiffs) brought this action against the United States Forest Service (Forest Service) to prevent the implementation of the new Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory Plan (WHT) that Modoc County helped develop. Plaintiffs brought six claims against defendants, all under the Administrative Procedures Act. In Counts I, II, and III, plaintiffs alleged that the boundary clarification was arbitrary and capricious because it violated the Wild Horses Act, the National Forest Management Act (NFMA), and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and in Counts IV, V, and VI, they claimed that the adjustment to the "appropriate management level" (AML) range was arbitrary and capricious because it was contrary to the same three statutes. The court found defendants were entitled to summary judgment on all counts.

Newman, et al v. City of Payette, 2015 WL 6159471 (D. Idaho, 2015). District Court ruled City of Payette's pit bull ordinance's procedural aspects were unconstitutional, finding that the lack of hearing provisions for a dog that was impounded due to an attack or bite violated procedural due process. The court also found that forcing the dog owner to bear the burden of proving his or her dog's innocence violated due process. The court, however, found no constitutional infirmity with the notice procedure employed by Payette's pit bull ordinance, provided Payette adhered to Idaho Code § 25-2804. The court ordered Plaintiff Douglas’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment to be granted in part and denied in part; the claims asserted against the city of Payette by Plaintiffs Monica Newman and Ruby Judine Malman to be dismissed without prejudice; and all claims asserted by Plaintiffs against the city of Fruitland to be dismissed without prejudice.

Roalstad v. City of Lafayette,--- P.3d ----2015 WL 5895396 (Col. Ct. App. Div. III , 2015). The origins of this matter began when the City of Lafayette (City) charged Defendant/Appellant with violating its municipal ordinance regarding vicious animals. Defendant/Appellant requested a jury trial pursuant to C.R.S.A. § 16-10-109. The municipal court denied the request. Since the municipal ordinance imposed fines, and because it was not a crime at common law, the court concluded the offense met the definition of “petty offense;” Defendant/Appellant was therefore entitled to a jury trial in municipal court pursuant to C.R.S.A. § 16-10-109. Further, because the ordinance and the state Dangerous Dog law were counterparts and because the ordinance was criminal in nature, the vicious animal offense was not exempt from the “petty offense” definition. Accordingly, the district court’s order was reversed.

Salazar v. Kubic,  --- P.3d ----2015 WL 5895438 (Col. Ct. App. Div. VI). At her facility, Defendant raised and housed more than 200 mice and rats to be sold as feed for snakes and other carnivores. After expiration of her valid license issued under Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (PACFA), Defendant kept operating her facility despite a cease and desist order from the Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture. The trial court granted the Commissioner's request for a permanent injunction. On appeal, the court rejected Defendant’s argument that her rodents were outside PACFA’s “pet animal” definition. Additionally, the court found rats and mice did not fit within the statutory exemptions for livestock or “any other animal designated by the Commissioner.” The court was also unpersuaded that Defendants rodents were “working animals” because there was no indication that she used them to perform any function that could be considered “work.” The district court’s decision was affirmed.  

State v. Acker, No. 36578, 2015 WL 6142904, at *1 (Conn. App. Ct. Oct. 27, 2015). Defendant, the director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Connecticut, Inc., was charged with 63 counts of animal cruelty for failing to give animals “proper care by exposing [them] to conditions that placed [them] at risk of hypothermia, dehydration, or to conditions injurious to [their] well-being....” Defendant was the director of a nonprofit animal rescue organization and housed rescued dogs in an uninsulated outdoor barn heated solely by space heaters. After a trial,  Defendant was convicted of 15 counts and acquitted of the remaining 48 counts of animal cruelty. On appeal, the defendant claimed that (1) there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction and (2)C.G.S.A. § 53-247(a) was unconstitutionally vague as applied to the facts of this case. The appellate court rejected defendant’s claims and affirmed the trial court’s decision.

Case Archives


Redefining The Modern Circus: A Comparative Look At The Regulations Governing Circus Animal Treatment And America's Neglect Of Circus Animal Welfare, Jacqueline Neumann, 36 Whittier L. Rev. 167 (2014).

Why Can't I Know How The Sausage Is Made?: How Ag-Gag Statutes Threaten Animal Welfare Groups And The First Amendment, Daniel L. Sternberg, 13 Cardozo Pub. L. Pol'y & Ethics J. 625 (2015).

Interpreting “Enhancement Of Survival” In Granting Section 10 Endangered Species Act Exemptions To Animal Exhibitors, Anne Haas, 32 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 956 (2015).

The (Inter)national Strategy: An Ivory Trade Ban In The United States And China, Morgan V. Manley, 38 Fordham Int'l L.J. 1511 (2015).

For Trinkets, Tonics, And Terrorism: International Wildlife Poaching In The Twenty-First Century, Ranee Khooshie Lal Panjabi, 43 Ga. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 1 (2014).