Cases

Case namesort ascending Citation Summary
Animal Legal Defense Fund v. California Exposition and State Fairs 239 Cal. App. 4th 1286 (2015) Plaintiffs brought a taxpayer action against defendants based on allegations that defendants committed animal cruelty every summer by transporting pregnant pigs and housing them in farrowing crates at the state fair. One defendant, joined by the other, demurred, contending plaintiffs' complaint failed to state a cause of action for three distinct reasons, including that California's animal cruelty laws were not enforceable through a taxpayer action. The trial court agreed on all accounts, and sustained the demurrer without leave to amend. The Court of Appeals addressed only one of plaintiffs' claims, that contrary to the trial court's conclusion, plaintiffs could assert a taxpayer action to enjoin waste arising out of defendants' alleged violation of the animal cruelty laws. Like the trial court, the appeals court rejected plaintiffs' contention, concluding that they could not circumvent the prohibition recognized in Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Mendes (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 136, which concluded that recognition of a private right of action under West's Ann.Cal.Penal Code § 597t would be inconsistent with the Legislature's entrustment of enforcement of anti-cruelty laws to local authorities and humane societies, by couching their claim as a taxpayer action. The lower court’s decision was therefore affirmed.
Animal Legal Defense Fund Boston, Inc. v. Provimi Veal Corp. 626 F.Supp. 278 (D.Mass.,1986)

District Court found that federal law preempts Massachusetts's consumer protection statute that requires retailers to inform consumers of relevant information, the disclosure of which may have influenced the buyer or prospective buyer not to enter into the transaction. The District Court also held that the Animal Legal Defense Fund could not enforce a cruelty to animals claim because it involves criminal statutes that only public prosecutors and legislatively-sanctioned groups may enforce.

Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Wasden 878 F.3d 1184 In 2012, an animal rights activist went undercover to get a job at an Idaho dairy farm and then secretly filmed ongoing animal abuse there. Mercy for Animals, an animal rights group, publicly released portions of the video, drawing national attention. The dairy farm owner responded to the video by firing the abusive employees who were caught on camera, instituting operational protocols, and conducting an animal welfare audit at the farm. Local law enforcement authorities launched an investigation that culminated in the conviction of one of the employees for animal cruelty. After the video's release, the dairy farm owner and his family received multiple threats. In 2012, an animal rights activist went undercover to get a job at an Idaho dairy farm and then secretly filmed ongoing animal abuse there. Mercy for Animals, an animal rights group, publicly released portions of the video, drawing national attention. The dairy farm owner responded to the video by firing the abusive employees who were caught on camera, instituting operational protocols, and conducting an animal welfare audit at the farm. Local law enforcement authorities launched an investigation that culminated in the conviction of one of the employees for animal cruelty. After the video's release, the dairy farm owner and his family received multiple threats. Animal rights advocacy organization brought action against the Governor and Attorney General of Idaho, challenging statute that criminalized interference with agricultural production facilities as violative of the First Amendment's free speech protections, violative of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and preempted by federal law. The United States District Court for the District of Idaho entered summary judgment in favor of organization and granted organization's motion to permanently enjoin enforcement of the statute. The court held that 1) Idaho statute criminalizing entry into an agricultural production facility by misrepresentation violated First Amendment; 2) Idaho statute criminalizing obtaining records of an agricultural production facility by misrepresentation did not violate First Amendment; 3) Idaho statute criminalizing obtaining records of an agricultural production facility by misrepresentation did not violate Equal Protection Clause; 4) Idaho statute criminalizing obtaining employment with an agricultural production facility by misrepresentation with the intent to cause economic or other injury to the facility's operations, property, or personnel, did not violate First Amendment; 5) Idaho statute criminalizing obtaining employment with an agricultural production facility by misrepresentation with the intent to cause economic or other injury to the facility's operations, property, or personnel did not violate Equal Protection Clause; and 6) Idaho statute prohibiting a person from entering a private agricultural production facility and, without express consent from the facility owner, making audio or video recordings of the conduct of an agricultural production facility's operations violated First Amendment. Affirmed in part; reversed in part.
Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Vaught 8 F.4th 714 (8th Cir. 2021) Several animal advocacy organizations filed a complaint against the Vaughts and Peco Foods, Inc. seeking an order that would prevent defendants from bringing a civil suit under Ark. Code Ann. § 16-118-113 (colloquially known as Arkansas' "ag gag" law). The statute at issue provides a civil cause of action for unauthorized access to protected properties described under the law. Plaintiffs claim that the statute violates their right to free speech under the First Amendment by chilling them from engaging in activities protected under the First Amendment. In particular, the plaintiffs have "specific and definite plans" to investigate the defendants' chicken slaughterhouses and pig farms by sending undercover investigators to seek employment with defendants and collect information in an effort to support their mission to "reform[] animal agriculture." The district court found that plaintiffs failed to establish Article III standing to sue, finding that the injury at hand was too speculative. On appeal here, the court noted found that plaintiffs established the three primary elements of standing from the Lujan case ("(1) an injury in fact, (2) a causal relationship between the injury and the challenged conduct, and (3) that a favorable decision will likely redress the injury."). First, but for the statute, plaintiffs allege that they would engage in the protected constitutional conduct. Second, the plaintiffs adequately outlined their intention to engage in a course of conduct that is proscribed by the statute. Finally, the court found a credible threat of enforcement that was objectively reasonable. This is bolstered by the fact plaintiffs have successfully engaged in the conduct at other facilities in the past. While defendants contend that there is no credible threat that they would enforce the statute because these organizations would not find entry to their facilities worthwhile. However, plaintiffs presented allegations that indeed they would be interested in documenting the plaintiffs' operations because of the conditions of pigs in "nearly immovable quarters" and the use of controversial methods of slaughter. The court was equally unpersuaded by defendants' claims that there is no injury in fact since plaintiffs are not poised to publish any information gathered from their facilities. Additionally, plaintiffs sent letters to defendants asking them to waive their rights to sue and neither defendant responded. Thus, the complaint sufficiently established a case or controversy. The lower court judgment was reversed and the case was remanded.
Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Reynolds --- F.Supp.3d ----, 2022 WL 777231 (S.D. Iowa Mar. 14, 2022) Plaintiffs, five non-profit organizations dedicated to animal protection, food safety, and other advocacy issues, filed suit challenging Iowa Code § 717.3B, which they contend infringes on their constitutional rights. Specifically, these organizations contend that Iowa's new "ag-gag" law criminalizes their actions in gathering information through undercover investigations at animal production facilities. These organizations must misrepresent or conceal their identities to gather gather evidence of animal abuse and other alleged illegal conduct in day-to-day activities at facilities where they suspect wrongdoing occurs. Iowa Code § 717A.3B is the second in a series of laws passed by the Iowa legislature aimed at criminalizing undercover investigations such as the ones conducted by Plaintiffs. The previous law was challenged by these same plaintiffs and a permanent injunction was passed by the United States District Court. The defendants challenged the injunction in the Eighth Circuit, but before that was decided, the Iowa legislature passed the new section (§ 717A.3B). Here, both parties have filed Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment. Plaintiffs contend that the new law violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution because it discriminates based on content and viewpoint and cannot survive strict scrutiny. Defendants argue that the law does not regulate protected speech under the First Amendment or, if it does regulate protected speech, it is content-neutral and viewpoint-neutral and passes intermediate scrutiny. The court first noted that the issue with § 717A.3B, and other laws aimed at prohibiting trespassers at agricultural facilities, is the law seeks to single out specific individuals for punishment based on their viewpoint regarding such facilities. This law operates in a viewpoint discriminatory fashion because it prohibits the deceptive trespasser who gains access or obtain employment at an agricultural facility with the intent to cause “economic harm ... to the agricultural production facility's ... business interest" as opposed to trespassers with an intent to benefit the facility. Thus, Section 717A.3B does not focus solely on the right to exclude, the legally cognizable harm of trespass, but only on the right to exclude those with particular viewpoints. While the court noted that a state legislature may determine whether specific facilities—such as agricultural facilities, nuclear power plants, military bases, or other sensitive buildings—are entitled to special legal protections, the First Amendment does not allow those protections to be based on a violator's viewpoint. Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment was granted and Defendant's was denied.
Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Otter Not Reported in F.Supp.3d, 2015 WL 4623943 (D. Idaho Aug. 3, 2015) The Animal Legal Defense Fund, and various other organizations and individuals, challenge Idaho Code § 18–7042 as unconstitutional. Section 18-7042 criminalizes undercover investigations of agricultural production facilities. ALDF alleges that § 18–7042 has both the purpose and effect of stifling public debate about modern agriculture and raises two substantive constitutional challenges against the State: (1) violation of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment; and (2) violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court first found that § 18–7042 is both content and viewpoint based, and thus, must survive the highest level of scrutiny. The Court held that the law does not survive strict scrutiny because it "would contravene strong First Amendment values to say the State has a compelling interest in affording these heavily regulated facilities extra protection from public scrutiny." Even if the interests in property and privacy of these industries is compelling, the law is not narrowly tailored as it restricts more speech than necessary and poses a "particularly serious threat to whistleblowers' free speech rights." Finally, the Court found that the law also violated the Equal Protection clause because the law was spurred by an improper animus toward animal welfare groups, furthers no legitimate or rational purpose, and classifies activities protected by the First Amendment based on content. ALDF's motion for summary judgment was granted.
Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Olympic Game Farm, Inc. --- F.Supp.3d ----, 2019 WL 2191876 (W.D. Wash. May 21, 2019) This case has to do with the mistreatment and unsafe captivity of numerous animals kept at a roadside zoo in Sequim, Washington called Olympic Game Farm (OGF). The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) alleged that OGF’s failure to abide by the Federal Endangered Species Act, as well as alleged violations of Washington State animal cruelty laws created a public nuisance. OGF admitted one of the allegations, specifically, that they are not accredited but possess or display Roosevelt Elk. That was an admitted violation of Washington law which makes it unlawful for a non-accredited facility to possess such a species. That single admission supported ALDF’s public nuisance claim in addition to all of the other alleged state violations. The court stated that ALDF met the "low bar" of standing in a public nuisance context. Accordingly, OGF’s Motion to Dismiss was denied.
Animal Hospital of Elmont, Inc. v. Gianfrancisco 418 N.Y.S.2d 992 (N.Y.Dist.Ct., 1979)

In this New York case, defendant presented his puppy to plaintiff-animal hospital for treatment. After discussions between about the cost of the care, defendant apparently felt that he would not be allowed to retrieve the puppy from the hospital's possession. As a consequence, plaintiff sent a letter to defendant describing the balance owed, and stating that the hospital would retain the puppy for 10 more days after which it would "take care of the dog in accordance with the legal methods available to dispose of abandoned dogs." The issue on appeal is whether this letter qualified as noticed required by the Agriculture and Markets Act, Sec. 331. The court found that it did not comply with the statutory requirements and thus, plaintiff was responsible for defendant's loss of his puppy valued at $200 at trial. Plaintiff was entitled to a judgment on its complaint for the costs of care amounting to $309.

Andrus v. L.A.D. 875 So.2d 124 (La.App. 5 Cir., 2004)

Patron sued dog owner for damages after an alleged attack.  The Court of Appeals, in reversing a finding for the patron, held that the patron did not establish that the dog posed an unreasonable risk of harm, which precluded a strict liability finding, and, that patron did not prove that the dog owner was negligent.  Reversed.

Andrus v. Allard 444 U.S. 51 (1979)

The Court holds that the narrow exception in the BGEPA for "possession and transportation" of pre-existing eagles and eagle artifacts does not extend to sale of the those lawfully obtained artifacts.  The legislative history and plain language of the statute is clear on Congress' intent to prohibit any commerce in eagles.  This prohibition on commerce in eagle artifacts does not constitute an unconstitutional taking because the ability to sell the property is but one strand in the owner's bundle of property rights.  The denial of one property right does not automatically equate a taking.  For further discussion on the prohibition in commerce of pre-existing eagle artifacts, see Detailed Discussion of Eagle Act.

Andrews v. City of West Branch Iowa 454 F.3d 914 (8th Cir., 2006)

Appellants filed a suit against defendant, City of West Branch, Iowa and former police chief Dan Knight, seeking damages and relief under Section 1983. The dog was killed by Knight in the owners' fenced backyard in view of one of the plaintiffs. The district court's grant of summary judgment for the officer was reversed and the case was remanded for a jury trial.

Anderson v. State Department of Natural Resources 693 N.W.2d 181 (Minn. 2005)

A paper manufacturing company sprayed pesticides on their tree grove, but accidentally over sprayed killing some of plaintiff's commercial bees.  The commercial beekeeper sued the paper manufacturing company and the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the paper company.  The Supreme Court of Minnesota ultimately reversed the grants of summary judgment on the commercial beekeeper's negligence claims and affirmed dismissal of the nuisance claims. 

Anderson v. State (Unpublished) 877 N.E.2d 1250 (Ind. App. 2007)

After shooting a pet dog to prevent harm to Defendant's own dog, Defendant challenges his animal cruelty conviction.  Defendant argues that since he was attempting to kill the dog, he did not intend to torture or mutilate the dog within the meaning of the statute.  The court affirms his conviction, reasoning that the evidentiary record below supported his conviction.

Anderson v. Evans 314 F.3d 1006 (9th Cir. 2002)

Concerned citizens and animal conservation groups brought an action against United States government, challenging the government's approval of quota for whale hunting by Makah Indian Tribe located in Washington state.  On appeal by the plaintiffs, the Court of Appeals held that the failure of the government to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement before approving a whale quota for the Makah Tribe violated National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  The court also found that the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) applied to tribe's proposed whale hunt, as the proposed whale takings were not excluded by the treaty with the tribe.

Anderson v. Evans 371 F.3d 475 (9th Cir. 2004)

Advocacy groups challenged governments approval of quota for whale hunting by the Makah Indian Tribe.  The Court of Appeals held that in granting the quota, the government violated the NEPA by failing to prepare an impact statement, and, that the MMPA applied to the tribe's whale hunt.  REVERSED.

Anderson v. Creighton 483 US 635 (1987)

Suit was brought against FBI agent seeking damages resulting from warrantless search of residents' home.

Anderson v. City of Camden 2011 WL 4703104 (2011)

Defendant Animal Control officers took Plaintiffs' two dogs pursuant to a pick-up order issued by a Magistrate of Kershaw County. The two dogs had a history of attacking other dogs and of running loose. Plaintiffs filed Fourth Amendment and South Carolina Tort Claims Act claims against Defendants. Court granted Defendants' motions for summary judgment because they did not violate a clearly established constitutional law, and were, therefore, entitled to qualified immunity from Plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment claim.

Anderson v. City of Blue Ash 798 F.3d 338 (6th Cir. 2015) This case stems from a dispute between Plaintiff/Appellant and the city of Blue Ash (City) on whether Plaintiff/Appellant could keep a miniature horse at her house as a service animal for her disabled minor daughter. Plaintiff/Appellant’s daughter suffers from a number of disabilities that affect her ability to walk and balance independently, and the horse enabled her to play and get exercise in her backyard without assistance from an adult. In 2013, the City passed a municipal ordinance banning horses from residential property and then criminally prosecuted plaintiff/appellant for violating it. Plaintiff/Appellant’s defense was that the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), and the Fair Housing Amendments Act (“FHAA”), both entitled her to keep the horse at her house as a service animal for her daughter. Rejecting those arguments, the Hamilton County Municipal Court found Plaintiff/Appellant guilty. Plaintiff/Appellant filed suit in federal court arguing that the ADA and FHAA entitled her to keep her horse as a service animal. The district court granted summary judgment to the City, finding that Plaintiff/Appellant's claims were barred by claim and issue preclusion stemming from her Municipal Court conviction. On appeal, the Sixth Circuit found that, because the fact-finding procedures available in a criminal proceeding in municipal court differed substantially from those available in a civil proceeding, Plaintiff/Appellant's conviction had no preclusive effect on this lawsuit. Furthermore, while there was no evidence that the City's actions were motivated by discriminatory intent against the minor daughter or had a disparate impact on disabled individuals, there were significant factual disputes regarding whether the ADA or FHAA required the City to permit Plaintiff/Appellant to keep her miniature horse at her house. The district court's grant of summary judgment to the City on those claims was therefore reversed.
Anderson v. Christopherson 816 N.W.2d 626 (Minn. 2012)

This appeal asks two questions: whether defendant-dog owners (Christophersons) were strictly liable under Minn.Stat. § 347.22 for plaintiff Anderson's injuries suffered when he attempted to break up a fight between defendants' and plaintiff's dogs; and (2) whether one of the defendants was an "owner" for purposes of this law. In the case at hand, the court found that the events leading to Anderson's injury could produce three reasonable alternative inferences such that summary judgment was inappropriate. The court found there was an issue whether the father Dennis Christopherson was "harboring" the dog at the home for purposes of the animal owner liability statute.

Anderson v Moore [2007] WASC 135

The appellant ignored advice to make available reasonable amounts of food to feed sheep. The appellant claimed to be acting under veterinary advice and further that the trial judge erred in taking into account the subjectivity of the appellant's actions. All claims were dismissed.

Anderson v Ah Kit [2004] WASC 194

In proceedings for defamation, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant published information giving rise to the imputations that the plaintiff left animals to starve and that the Northern Territory government had to intervene to feed those animals. The defendant pleaded, inter alia, the defences of Polly Peck and fair comment. The Court ruled that the Polly Peck defense was sufficiently justified to survive the plaintiff's strike out application. It was held, however, that although animal welfare generally was a matter of public interest, the welfare of some animals held on private property was not, and could not be made by extensive media coverage, a matter of public interest.

Amos v. State 478 S.W.3d 764 (Tex. App. 2015), petition for discretionary review refused (Nov. 18, 2015) A jury found appellant guilty of the offense of cruelty to a nonlivestock animal after he beat a Shih Tzu to death with a broom. After finding an enhancement paragraph true, the jury assessed Appellant's punishment at thirty-one months’ confinement. Appellant asserted five issues on this appeal: (1) the admission of a State's witness's recorded statement to the police, which the court overruled because the evidence was received without objection; (2) the denial of his motion to quash the indictment for failing to allege an offense, which the court overruled because the indictment tracked the statutory language; (3) the denial of six of his challenges for cause, which the court overruled because the venire members gave the defense counsel contradictory answers meaning the trial court could not abuse its discretion in refusing to excuse a juror; (4) the denial of his objection to the charge, which the court overruled because the jury charge tracked the statute’s language; and (5) the denial of his motion to suppress the dog’s necropsy, which the court overruled because the appellant had no intention of reclaiming the dog's body or her ashes and thereby relinquished his interest in them such that he could no longer retain a reasonable expectation of privacy and lacked standing to contest the reasonableness of any search. The lower court’s decision was therefore affirmed.
Amons v. District of Columbia 231 F. Supp 2d. 109 (D.D.C. 2002)

Plaintiff filed a Section 1983 action against D.C. police officers alleging, inter alia , intentional infliction of emotional distress for the unprovoked shooting of his dog inside his home.  The court found that the officers lacked probable cause for the warrantless entry into his home to make the arrest, the arresting officer made "an egregiously unlawful arrest," and the officers were unreasonable in shooting plaintiff's dog without provocation.

Ammon v. Welty 113 S.W.3d 185 (Ky.App.,2002)

In this Kentucky case, the plaintiffs brought an action against the county dog warden for shooting their dog. Before the statutorily imposed 7-day waiting limit had expired, the warden euthanized the dog by shooting him in the head. The Court of Appeals held that while a family dog can be beloved by a family, loss of the pet does not support an action for loss of consortium. Further, the dog warden was not liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress because his actions did not rise to the outrageous level where the dog was not shot in the presence of the family and there was no evidence that Brewer intended to inflict emotional harm.

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign v. Vilsack 133 F. Supp. 3d 200 (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. Because the Forest Service reasonably concluded that the disputed territory was never formally incorporated into the Devil's Garden WHT, and that any references to one contiguous territory were the result of administrative error, the Court found that it was not arbitrary and capricious or in violation of the law for the Forest Service to act to correct the boundary in the 2013 Environmental Assessment and the 2013 Management Plan. Thus, defendants were entitled to summary judgment on Counts I, II, and III. And because the Forest Service articulated a rational basis for its decision to adjust the AML range for the Devil's Garden WHT that was not counter to record evidence or otherwise contrary to the law, the Court found that defendants were also entitled to summary judgment on Counts IV, V, and VI. Thus, plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment was denied, defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment was granted, and because they sought the same relief as defendants, the intervenor-defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment was denied as moot.
American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign v. Perdue 865 F.3d 691 (D.C. Cir. 2017) This case involves a challenge by plaintiff-wild horse preservationists under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) to a proposed management plan issued for wild horse territory (WHT) by the Forest Service (FS). Plaintiffs argue that the revision, which changed the borders by removing a middle section so that it was not a contiguous territory, was arbitrary and capricious. After the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted summary judgment for the Forest Service, plaintiffs appealed. On appeal, FS contends that the unified territory was based on a cartographic error in the 1980s; in essence, FS argues that the 2013 change merely corrects an "administrative error" and returns management to the correct WHT boundary from 1975. However, this Court held that FS' decision to eliminate the middle section of the WHT was arbitrary and capricious because the plan failed to explain the change in policy. Further, FS did not adequately consider whether an Environmental Impact Statement was required under NEPA regarding this change. The Court was unconvinced by the FS's attempts to "shrug off" the inclusion of the Middle Section as an "administrative error" and stated that there is no "oops" exception for federal agencies. There were decades of data that relied on the "error" along with formal published plans that supported management activities and population studies. The court was unwilling to allow the FS to correct a past error by committing a new legal error: "[I]n administrative law, as elsewhere, two wrongs do not make a right." The court noted that FS may change its policies in the future, provided it reasonably supports those changes. Additionally, the Court found the FS' "Finding of No Significant Impact" in the environmental analysis was a "head-in-the-sand" approach that ignored real consequences of the boundary changes. Accordingly, this Court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment in part and directed the district court to remand to the Service for further consideration.
American Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals, v. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus 502 F.Supp.2d 103 (D.D.C., 2007) Plaintiffs-ASPCA filed suit against Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Feld Entertainment, Inc, under the citizen-suit provision of the Endangered Species Act.  Plaintiffs allege that FEI routinely beats elephants, chains them for long periods of time, hits them with sharp bull hooks, breaks baby elephants with force to make them submissive, and forcibly removes baby elephants from their mothers before they are weaned. This conduct, plaintiffs contend, violates the "take" provision of the ESA. In the court's opinion regarding defendants' motion for summary judgment, the court held that the pre-Act exemption does not insulate defendant from claims of taking under the ESA. However, the court found that the captive-bred wildlife (CBW) permit held by defendant does not allow for challenge under a citizen-suit provision.
American Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals v. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus 2008 WL 3411666 (D.D.C.)

On Plaintiffs’ motion to compel discovery from Defendants, The United States District Court, District of Columbia, determined that “master schedules” and “performance reports” were not documents pertaining to the chaining of elephants, and/or describing practices and procedures for maintaining elephants on the train, and Plaintiffs were therefore not entitled to such documents. The Court could not determine whether certain audio tapes demanded by Plaintiffs pertained to the medical condition or health status of any Asian elephants in Defendants’ custody during a specified time-frame, or pertained to the investigation of Defendants’ operation conducted by the Department of Agriculture, without being given the opportunity to listen to and review the audio tapes. Plaintiffs’ mere speculation that Defendants hired an outside consulting firm to follow and/or counteract a previous employee’s efforts did not entitle Plaintiffs to any further judicial action.

American Society For Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus 246 F.R.D. 39 (D.D.C.,2007)

In this case, the court considered the parties’ respective motions for reconsideration. On August 23, 2007, the Court granted summary judgment to defendant as to elephants subject to a captive-bred wildlife (“CBW”) permit and denied summary judgment as to elephants for which defendant claimed a “pre-Act” exemption. Defendant has filed a motion for reconsideration challenging the Court's decision regarding the “pre-Act” elephants and plaintiff has filed a motion for reconsideration challenging the Court's decision regarding the CBW permit elephants. Defendant’s motion was granted in part as to the standing of plaintiff, Tom Rider. The court held that Rider’s standing is now limited to those six elephants to which he became “emotionally attached.” Notably, the court ended its opinion with a “hint to the wise” that the court will not tolerate any further filings inconsistent with FRCP.

American Society For Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus 317 F.3d 334 (C.A.D.C.,2003)

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Welfare Institute, the Fund for Animals, and Thomas Rider sued Ringling Bros. and its owner, Feld Entertainment, Inc., claiming that Asian elephants are an endangered species and that the circus mistreated its elephants in violation of the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq. The only question was whether, as the district court ruled in dismissing their complaint, plaintiffs (including a former elephant handler) lack standing under Article III of the Constitution.  The Court of Appeals held that the former elephant handler demonstrated present or imminent injury and established redressability where the elephant handler alleged enough to show that his injuries will likely be redressed if he is successful on the merits.

American Soc. for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Feld Entertainment, Inc. 677 F.Supp.2d 55, 2009 WL 5159752 (D.D.C., 2009)

This opinion represents the nine-year culmination of litigation brought by plaintiff Tom Rider and Animal Protection Institute (API) against Defendant Feld Entertainment, Inc. (“FEI”) - the operator of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey traveling circus. Plaintiffs alleged that defendant's use of bullhooks and prolonged periods of chaining with respect to its circus elephants violates the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. § 1531, et seq. This Court held that plaintiffs failed to establish standing under Article III of the United States Constitution and entered judgment in favor of defendants. Since the Court concluded that plaintiffs lack standing, it did not reach the merits of plaintiffs' allegations that FEI “takes” its elephants in violation of Section 9 of the ESA. 

American Soc. for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Feld Entertainment, Inc. 659 F.3d 13 (C.A.D.C., 2011)

The Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, affirmed the lower court's finding that plaintiffs lack standing to sue Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus for violation of the Endangered Species Act. Specifically, plaintiffs allege that the use of two training methods for controlling elephants, bullhooks and chaining, constitute a "taking" under the Act. Here, the court found no clear error by the district court as to former employee Tom Rider's standing to sue where Rider's testimony did not prove an injury-in-fact. As to API's standing, the court held that API did not meet either informational standing or standing under a Havens test.

American Soc. for Cruelty to Animals v. Board of Trustees of State 165 A.D.2d 561 (N.Y. 1991) In New York, an animal protection organization sought a judgment that would allow the public to attend meetings for a university’s animal use organization.   Such attendance was required under the New York Consolidated Law.   However, because the university meetings did not involve matters affecting the public or public policy, and since the animal protection organization was not considered a “public body,” public attendance was not ordered.  
American Horse Protection Assoc. v. Andrus 608 F.2d 811 (9th Cir. 1979)

The court stated that the Secretary’s decision to remove 3,500 to 7,000 wild horses in order to maintain the horse population at a permanent level might qualify as “major” federal action and thus require an EIS before removal could occur.    While the secretary has wide discretion under the WFRHBA, he has no discretion regarding compliance with NEPA.  The court also held that  the exercise of jurisdiction by two courts over public lands created no threat of conflicting decisions on range utilization, because the courts only determined whether the land use decision was an informed one.

American Horse Protection Asso. v. Frizzell 203 F. Supp. 1206 (D. Nev. 1975)

The court upheld the Secretary’s decision to remove 400 horses from certain public lands in Nevada because of the risks of overgrazing, but also asserted that the Secretary’s discretion was not so complete as to deny judicial review of his actions.

American Horse Protection Ass'n, Inc. v. Lyng 681 F.Supp. 949 (D.D.C.,1988)

This case resulted from a remand by the Court of Appeals after the USDA denied the plaintiff's application for additional rulemaking for the Horse Protection Act to expressly prohibit the use of ten ounce chains and padded shoes in the training of show horses. The use of these materials, argues plaintiff, constitutes soring (the act of deliberately injuring a horse's hooves to obtain a particular type of gait prized at certain horse shows. The object of soring is to cause a horse to suffer pain as its feet touch the ground). This Court denied defendant's motion to dismiss and granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. In doing so, it directed the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture to institute rulemaking procedures concerning the use of action devices on show horses. The Court further held that the existing regulations are contrary to law and that the Secretary ignored his mandate from Congress under the Horse Protection Act.

American Horse Protection Ass'n v. U. S. Dept. of Interior 551 F.2d 342 (C.A.D.C. 1977)
Appellants (American Horse Protection Association and a member of the joint advisory board created under the Act) initiated an action in the District Court against the Dept. of the Interior, alleging violations of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and other federal statutes in connection with a roundup of horses on federal lands. In January and February of 1973, there was a roundup of horses (said by appellants to be wild and free-roaming) on public lands near Howe, Idaho. The District Court for the District of Columbia, granted summary judgment for appellees, rejecting appellants' contention that the Brand Inspector lacked authority under the Act to determine ownership conclusively. On appeal, the Court of Appeals found the District Court's construction of Section 5 unacceptable. This Court did not believe that Congress intended to abdicate to state officials final determinations under Section 5 on ownership of wild free-roaming horses and burros on federal lands. Thus, the Court held that final role is reserved to the Federal Government. The judgment appealed from was reversed, and the case was remanded to the District Court.
American Dog Owners Ass'n, Inc. v. Dade County, Fla. 728 F.Supp. 1533 (S.D.Fla.,1989)

Associations of dog owners sued Dade, County, Florida seeking declaratory judgment that an ordinance that regulated “pit bull” dogs was unconstitutionally vague. Plaintiffs contend that there is no such breed as a pit bull, but rather a three breeds that this ordinance has mistakenly lumped together. The District Court held that ordinance sufficiently defined “pit bull” dogs by specifically referencing three breeds recognized by kennel clubs, including a description of the characteristics of such dogs, and provided a mechanism for verification of whether a particular dog was included. The uncontradicted testimony of the various veterinarians reflected that most dog owners know the breed of their dog and that most dog owners look for and select a dog of a particular breed.

American Dog Owners Ass'n, Inc. v. City of Lynn 404 Mass. 73, 533 N.E.2d 642 (Mass.,1989)

This is an appeal by American Dog Owners Association from a judgment upholding two of three city of Lynn ordinances which restrict ownership of certain dogs within the city limits. The lower court found that one of three animal control ordinances regulating “pit bulls” was unconstitutional. First, the Supreme Judicial Court held that the first two ordinances were repealed by passage of third which was intended to treat subject of pit bulls comprehensively. However, the court found that the third ordinance which attempted to define pit bull by breed was unconstitutionally vague. The court stated that, "if identification by breed name does not provide sufficient ascertainable standards for enforcement, then the “definition” of “Pit Bull” in the fourth ordinance, which is devoid of any reference to a particular breed, but relies instead on the even less clear 'common understanding and usage' of the term 'Pit Bull,' is not sufficiently definite to meet due process requirements."

American Dog Owners Ass'n v. City of Yakima 777 P.2d 1046 (Wash.1989)
In this Washington case, plaintiff brought suit against the City of Yakima challenging an ordinance that banned “pit bulls” dogs. The Superior Court, Yakima County, granted city's motion for summary judgment, and plaintiffs appealed. Plaintiffs first argued that the ordinance is vague because a person of ordinary intelligence cannot tell what is prohibited.  The Supreme Court disagreed, finding that the City used adequate standards for identification in the professional standards and illustrations to show that a particular dog meets the professional standard. Thus, the Court found that the ordinance gave sufficient notice of what was conduct prohibited. Summary judgment for the City was affirmed.
American Bald Eagle v. Bhatti 9 F.3d 163 (Mass.,1993)
A group of animal preservationists filed suit to enjoin deer hunting on a Massachusetts reservation because it contended that the activity posed such a risk to bald eagles so as to constitute a prohibited “taking” under the ESA. The essence of the plaintiff's argument was that some of the deer shot by hunters would not be recovered and then eagles would consume these deer thereby ingesting the harmful lead slugs from the ammunition. The district court denied the preliminary injunction, ruling that appellants failed to show a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits. On appeal of the denial for injunction, this Court held that plaintiff failed to meet the showing of actual harm under the ESA. There was no showing in the record of harm to any bald eagles during the deer hunt of 1991 and the record fully supported the trial judge's conclusion.
Amburgey v. Sauder 605 N.W.2d 84 (Mich. 1999)

Plaintiff was bitten by a horse as she walked through a stable.   The court determined that Plaintiff was a “participant” for the purposes of the Equine Activity Liability Act (EALA), and thus the Defendant stables owner was insulated from liability arising out of the unanticipated, abnormal behavior of the horse.

Ambros-Marcial v. U.S. 377 F.Supp.2d 767 (D. Arizona 2005)

Eleven illegal aliens tragically died in Arizona while attempting to cross the Sonoran Desert in May 2001. Plaintiffs, the aliens' surviving relatives, filed suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act, claiming that the manager of the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge where decedents were found, caused their deaths by refusing to allow an immigrant rights group to erect water drums on the refuge in April 2001. Defendant moved to dismiss, arguing that (1) the Court lacks jurisdiction because the decision was a “discretionary function” under 28 U.S.C. § 2680(a), and (2) Plaintiffs failed to state a claim because Defendant owed no duty to Plaintiffs. Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment and motion to dismiss. The District Court held that defendant's concerns about the safety of aliens (who might be encouraged to cross the area because of the presence of water drums), the safety of refuge visitors (who have been victimized by a small percentage of illegal crossers), and environmental harm (arising from habitat disruption and littering of debris) gave Defendant the discretion to decline to authorize the erection of water drums on Cabeza Prieta, and therefore the Court has no jurisdiction to hear this case. In addition, Defendant owed no duty to affirmatively assist trespassers illegally crossing Cabeza Prieta in avoiding the obvious dangers of a hostile desert. Therefore, Defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted.

Am. Anti-Vivisection Soc'y v. United States Dept. of Agric. --- F.Supp.3d ----, 2018 WL 6448635 (D.D.C. Dec. 10, 2018). The American Anti-Vivisection Society and the Avian Welfare Coalition sued the Department of Agriculture and its Secretary alleging that the Department's failure to promulgate bird-specific regulations is unreasonable, unlawful, and arbitrary and capricious in violation of the APA. The Plaintiffs sought court-ordered deadlines by which the Department must propose such rules. The Department moved to dismiss the Plaintiff's claims arguing that the Plaintiffs lack standing to sue, that it is not required by law to promulgate regulations for birds, and that it has not taken a final action reviewable by the court. The District Court ultimately held that, although the Plaintiffs have standing to sue, both of their claims fail. The Department is not required by the Animal Welfare Act to issue avian-specific standards; rather, it must to issue welfare standards that are generally applicable to animals. Secondly, although the Department has not taken any action to develop avian-specific standards, that does not mean that will not do so in the future. The District Court granted the department's motion to dismiss.
Am. Anti-Vivisection Soc'y et. al. v. USDA et. al. 946 F.3d 615 (D.C. Cir. 2020) Congress passed the Animal Welfare Act (“AWA”) in 1966 to insure that animals intended for use in research facilities, for exhibition purposes, or for use as pets were provided humane care and treatment. Initially the definition of the word “animal” excluded birds according to the USDA. In 2002, Congress amended the AWA to make it known that birds were to be protected as well. The USDA promised to publish a proposed rule for public comment once it determined how to best regulate birds and adopt appropriate standards. Eighteen years later, the USDA has yet to issue any standards regarding birds. The American Anti-Vivisection Society and the Avian Welfare Coalition sued to compel the USDA to either issue bird-specific standards or to apply its general standards to birds. These animal-rights groups argued that the USDA’s utter failure to promulgate any bird specific standards amounted to arbitrary and capricious agency action. Their second argument was that USDA unlawfully withheld and unreasonably delayed action. The district court dismissed their complaint for failure to state a claim to which the animal-rights groups appealed. The Court of Appeals found that the AWA, when it was amended in 2002, required the USDA to issue standards governing the humane treatment, not of animals generally, but of animals as a defined category of creatures including birds not bred for use in research. The USDA failed to take “discrete action” issuing standards to protect birds that the AWA requires it to take. The Court ultimately affirmed the district court as to the arbitrary and capricious claim but reversed and remanded as to the unreasonable delay claim to determine whether the issuance of bird-specific standards has been unreasonably delayed.
Alvarez v. Clasen 946 So.2d 181 (La.,2006)

Plaintiff sued neighbors who trapped cat outside and brought it to an animal shelter where it was euthanized. This court held that private parties trapping a stray cat were not liable for conversion because local ordinances permitted animal shelters to hold stray cats. 

Altman v. City of High Point 330 F.3d 194 C.A.4 (N.C. 2003)

This case arises out of several shooting incidents in the City of High Point, North Carolina.  In each incident, a High Point animal control officer shot and killed one or more dogs that were running at large in the city. Plaintiffs, the owners of the animals, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the officers' actions violated their Fourth Amendment rights.  The Court of Appeals concluded that the dogs at issue in this case do qualify as property protected by the Fourth Amendment and that the officers seized that property. However, because in each instance the seizure involved was reasonable, it concluded that the officers did not violate the plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment rights.

Altieri v. Nanavati 573 A.2d 359 (Conn. Super., 1990)

This is an action against a veterinarian for negligence, claiming that the defendant performed unwanted sterilization surgery on the plaintiff's dog, a Lhasa Apso.  The court held that there is also a question of fact regarding whether performing an unwanted operation on the dog is, under the circumstances, actionable as reckless conduct.  However, the court observed that, at the time of the trial it is unlikely that the plaintiffs will be able to recover, as an element of damages, any alleged emotional distress they may have experienced as a result of the surgery on their dog.

Alternatives Research & Development Foundation v. Glickman 101 F.Supp.2d 7 (D.D.C.,2000)

In this case, the plaintiffs, a non-profit organization, a private firm and an individual, alleged that the defendants, the USDA and APHIS violated the mandate of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) by promulgating regulations that exclude birds, mice and rats from the definition of “animal” under the Act. Defendants moved to dismiss, arguing that all three plaintiffs lack standing to bring suit. Defendants also moved to dismiss on the grounds that the exclusion of the three species is within the agency's Congressionally delegated discretion, not subject to judicial review. The court denied defendant's motion, holding that based on Lujan , defendants challenge to standing failed. Further, the AWA does not grant the USDA "unreviewable discretion" to determine what animals are covered under the AWA.

Alternative Research & Dev. Found. v. Veneman 262 F.3d 406 (D.C. Cir. 2001)

An animal rights foundation sought to have the definition of “animal” amended, so that birds, mice and rats used for research would not be excluded.   USDA agreed to consider the animal rights foundation petition to have the definition amended, and agreed to do so in reasonable amount of time.   The National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR), a biomedical research group that used birds, mice and rats in its research, attempted to intervene and prevent USDA from considering the petition.   However, NABR was prohibited from doing so because there was no showing that preventing intervention would result in its interests not being violated.

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