About the Animal Legal Defense Fund
For more than three decades, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has been fighting to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. Founded in 1979 by attorneys active in shaping the emerging field of animal law, ALDF has blazed the trail for stronger enforcement of anti-cruelty laws and more humane treatment of animals in every corner of American life. Today, ALDF’s groundbreaking efforts to push the U.S. legal system to end the suffering of abused animals are supported by thousands of dedicated attorneys and more than 100,000 members and supporters. Every day, ALDF works to protect animals by:
Criminal Justice Program
ALDF’s Criminal Justice Program is staffed by attorneys, including former prosecutors, with expertise in animal protection law. Our attorneys provide free legal assistance to prosecutors and law enforcement agencies to ensure that state criminal anti-cruelty statutes are vigorously enforced and that those convicted of animal cruelty and neglect receive appropriate sentences. We work with state legislators to enact felony anti-cruelty statutes in states that do not yet have them and to upgrade existing laws in states that do. The Criminal Justice Program also maintains a nationwide database of animal cruelty cases and current and model animal protection laws available to prosecutors, legislators and researchers.
In our litigation work, ALDF staff attorneys may bring suit themselves, or ALDF may retain outside counsel to represent it; we may also file either as a named plaintiff, or as the attorneys for other organizations or individuals. Our civil actions on behalf of animals often include filing amicus curiae briefs arguing the case for recognition of the bonds between humans and nonhuman animals and formal complaints against government agencies charged with enforcing laws meant to protect animals.
Animal Law Program
ALDF’s Animal Law Program works closely with law students and law professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law. Moving toward the day when animal law is part of the curriculum at each and every law school, the Animal Law Program collaborates with students, faculty, and school administrations to facilitate the development of animal law courses and assists students in forming Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapters.
With Your Donation:
$25 Will provide medicine to a dog rescued from a filthy shelter being sued by ALDF
$50 Will pay for fingerprint analysis in a cruelty investigation
$100 Will subsidize DNA testing necessary in the case of a serial cat killer
$250 Will fly in an expert witness to provide critical testimony to convict an abuser
$500 Will pay for the necropsy of a dog who died of neglect in a criminal case against a hoarder
$1000 Will feed horses saved from starvation thanks to ALDF's close work with law enforcement