Animal Justice Canada’s mission is simple yet effective – “work to pass strong new animal protection legislation, push for the prosecution of animal abusers, and fight for animals in court.” How is this team of dedicated individuals making a difference in the animal rights movement? How can you support their efforts?
Legal Rights for Animals
Animal Justice is a truly unique organization in Canada. Comprised of a stellar team of animal rights lawyers and associates, their goal is to give animals legal rights and protections. They are deeply invested in all aspects of animal welfare, from documenting the cruel factory farm industry; to campaigning against zoos, aquariums, puppy mills, and trophy hunting; to protecting the rights and freedom of speech for animal advocates on the front lines. Like us, all animals deserve to have their interests represented in court.
On November 9, 2016, Canadian history was made when the following words were spoken in a courthouse, “Animal Justice is here to represent the interests of the animals.” For the first time, lawyers fighting for the rights of animals were allowed to intervene in a groundbreaking case in front of the Supreme Court of Canada. Details of the case can be found here; in brief, it involved giving animals the same protections from sexual abuse as humans have. It will be months before the court makes a decision, but this is one of many important issues that Animal Justice is currently involved in.
Improving Animal Protection
In 2013, Animal Justice Canada released a comprehensive report, “OSPCA Act: A Better Way Forward,” as an overview of Ontario, Canada’s poor animal protection legislation, including clear recommendations for improvement. This need of legislation reform came to light in 2010 when Animal Justice became aware of the impending mass euthanasia of 350 animals in an Ontario shelter – a death sentence for a treatable parasitic infection. After identifying the OSPCA’s non-conformity to governing legislation, the euthanasia was successfully halted by way of a cease and desist order.
Adding fuel to the fire, another instance the OSPCA’s indifference to suffering came to light when it failed to act on reports of animal cruelty and extreme abuse at Marineland (Canada’s “SeaWorld“) despite a vast amount of credible information from various sources. These are just a few examples of how important changes to animal protection laws are, especially in relation to documenting cruelty for the world to see.
The organization’s most recent case centers around the Vancouver Aquarium in British Columbia, Canada and its attempts to silence animal advocates. In January 2016, a short documentary called “Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered” was released to the public via the Internet. Its main purpose was to expose the aquarium’s cruel practice of keeping beluga whales and dolphins in captivity. The aquarium responded by filing a lawsuit against the filmmaker for copyright infringement. On March 20th, Animal Justice lawyers, concerned with the potential affect the ability of activists to expose animal cruelty in Canada, intervened and headed to the BC Court of Appeals in Vancouver. They will remain involved in this case every step along the way until a decision is made.
How You Can Help
Animal Justice has celebrated many successes along the road to creating stronger animal protection laws. In 2011, they provided legal advice and recommendations to Air Canada as a means of ending the transportation of animals for use in research and experimentation overseas. The airline was previously unaware of their legal obligation to cease the practice of shipping animals for the above-mentioned cruel purposes. Despite numerous complaints, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) sided with the decision stating Air Canada was acting well within their legal rights. As a result, Air Canada is now part of a growing list of major airlines that no longer participate in the transport of animals destined to be used for cruel purposes. This is a step in the right direction.
As with many organizations devoted to improving the lives of animals and exposing their suffering, Animal Justice Canada relies on public support. Learn more about their important work by visiting their website and following them on social media. As Albert Schopenhauer once stated, “the assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western cruelty and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.”
If you are in Canada, Please sign and share the Animal Charter of Rights and Freedoms to show elected officials that Canadians demand better treatment of all animals as well as tougher laws to protect their freedoms and well-being.
Joey's story is tragic, but it's not uncommon. At America's estimated 10,000 puppy mills, there's nothing but misery. Stephen Wells, from the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) knows very well because he has been there. As Executive Director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, he has seen it all first‑hand while rescuing dogs from these hopeless places.
Against all odds, Joey was rescued, and today lives in a home where she is loved. Still, the fur she lost from the stress of living in a puppy mill has never grown back. As a result of what she had to endure, she shakes, she cowers, and she's terrified of most people. Together we can keep other dogs from the trauma Joey survived.
Dogs like Joey need a good lawyer, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund is the only organization dedicated solely to protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system. Give now to help us use the power of the law to end the cycle of abuse.
Please click here to help out in that regard. It is a matter of gutting it out from the root (By Law).
For example, state legislators in Pennsylvania passed the Pennsylvania Dog Law, which limited the use of wire mesh flooring and required that dogs be allowed outside exercise. But under pressure from the puppy mill lobby, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) granted illegal exemptions that effectively nullified this law!
The ALDF took the PDA to court — and they won, compelling the state to enforce its own laws and restore the Pennsylvania Dog Law's original protections.
If corporations continue to treat animals as nothing more than a means to a profit margin; if they continue to try to water down laws and dodge punishment for abuse, then the Animal Legal Defense Fund will go after them. We have the law on our side. We have common decency on our side. I hope we can count on having you on our side as well!
Abuser of Caitlyn the Dog Gets 15 Years Prison for Weapons Charge. You may remember the story of Caitlyn, the Staffordshire bull terrier mix whose abuse made national news and shocked animal lovers worldwide in the summer of 2015. Horrifyingly, Caitlyn, then 15-months-old, was found with her muzzle bound with electrical tape in North Charleston, South Carolina. The tape had cut off all circulation to her nose and tongue, all because William Leonard Dodson thought she was barking too much. Although vets estimate the tape had only been there for 48 hours, the damage that it had done was extensive.
Thankfully, Charleston Animal Society was called immediately to rescue her. Despite the horror Caitlyn had endured, she has since recovered and was in even given a “bone to the city” by North Charleston’s Mayor, R. Keith Summey.
But, William Leonard Dodson hasn’t been having such great luck. Karma has come back around for Dobson as he has now been sentenced to 15 years in prison on a weapons possession charge, albeit unrelated to Caitlyn. As for the animal cruelty charge, the Charleston Animal Society posted on their Facebook page, that a hearing will be held March 24, 2017. His charge for abusing Caitlyn carries at least 180 days of imprisonment. But unfortunately, any prison term he gets in state court Friday for animal abuse likely won’t extend his stay behind bars.
Caitlyn is living it up while her abuser is getting locked up. Sweet victory, huh?
Caitlyn is now the namesake for an animal cruelty fund created by Charleston Animal Society, which helps pay for the care of abused animals. This sweet pup now lives with a permanent foster family that includes children and someone with veterinary experience. Her lifetime medical expenses are all being paid for by the society. A happy ending for Caitlyn, indeed.
If you would like to help Charleston Animal Society continue to fight animal cruelty, you can donate to Caitlyn’s animal-cruelty fund. Image Source: Charleston Animal Society/Facebook
Tiger cubs in the wild will often spend two years or more with their loving mothers—bonding, playing, and learning skills that will allow them to thrive as adults.
But if they're born into captivity in a circus, they'll be torn away from their mothers' side long before that. They'll spend much of their lives locked in cages that are often little bigger than their own bodies. Deprived of nearly everything that gives their lives meaning, they'll routinely be whipped, intimidated, and even denied food in order to force them to balance on balls, stand on their hind legs, or perform other tricks before gawking circusgoers.
As I write this, tigers, bears, and other animals are enduring a lifetime of abuse for a fleeting bit of cruel entertainment. But PETA is waking people up to the need to reject such circus acts, and we need your help.
Your gift today of just $5 or more will help power our vital work to close down animal circuses.
No animal willingly struggles to ride a bicycle, jumps through hoops, or balances precariously on a rolling ball. The tigers, bears, lions, and other wild animals used in circuses perform such tricks because they're forced to through violence and intimidation.
Over and over again, PETA and our international affiliates have exposed the abuse and neglect endured by animals condemned to a living death in tawdry circuses and traveling shows around the world:
- In China, a groundbreaking PETA Asia exposé has revealed that tigers and lions were jabbed and threatened with heavy metal poles to get them to perform. Many will spend their lives in decrepit metal cages so small that they can hardly even turn around. They have no life! Make a gift to help them.
- In the U.S., abusers with decades of Animal Welfare Act violations have been found working with circuses like UniverSoul. One contractor with that circus was cited twice in just four months for denying vital exercise and space to big cats—and a handler admitted that some big cats were kept caged 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for a month or more at a time. Stand up for them today by making a gift.
- Inspections of circuses by PETA India have repeatedly found that elephants, horses, dogs, and other animals were suffering from painful, untreated injuries and severe neglect. The eyewitness reports are leading to numerous legal charges, many wonderful animal rescues, and the decision of a number of Indian circuses to stop using animals entirely. Your donation will benefit our vigorous campaigns to stop abuse for entertainment.
By donating right now, you'll be helping us do more to stop animals' suffering and spread compassion for all. Even $5 makes a difference!
In nearly every corner of the globe, calls to end the abuse of animals for cruel entertainment are growing louder. Cities, regions, and even entire countries, such as Bolivia, Israel, and the Netherlands, are moving to ban wild animals in circuses. Thanks to years of intense campaigning by PETA, circuses with captive animals are finding fewer ticket buyers who are willing to stomach their abuse—forcing some, like the notorious Ringling Bros. circus, to shut down entirely.
Your donation to PETA today will help provide us with the resources needed to support all of our vital work for animals.
Thank you for your compassion and for everything that you do to help tigers and other animals who need us.