Connecticut Law Grants Abused Animals Advocates in Court
Connecticut passed a new law allowing abused animals to be granted an advocate in court, according to the Huffington Post.
The law, known as Desmond’s Law, is the first of its kind in the US, and aims to help ensure animal abusers receive more than a ‘slap on the wrist.’
Advocated must be appointed by a judge if deemed necessary, and may interview witnesses, write case briefs, seek expert opinion, and make recommendations to the judge in court.
The need for such advocates comes when courts are overflowing with human cases that prioritize as more serious than animal cases.
All advocates are volunteers, which will hopefully help eliminate some of the burden on the courts to stretch thin resources that are already sparse.
Animal advocacy and animal rights has gained much attention with the spread of new legislation, helping to hold abusers accountable for their crimes.
In recent years cities like Tampa and Chicago have started animal abuse registries, with Tennessee instilling a statewide registry.
Alaska ruled that judges must take into consideration the well-being of a pet(s) when ruling on divorce cases, and the FBI now uses tracking data to help collect information on animal abusers, according to the Huffington Post.
Even law schools are expanding the curriculum to include more animal law programs.
As of 2015 there are 151 law schools offering classes in animal rights law.
Arizona recently took a step forward, following in California’s footsteps, with the passing of legislation allowing a good Samaritan to aid a child or animal locked in a hot car without suffering legal repercussions.
In the past anyone who caused damage to a vehicle while trying to break an animal or child out of a locked car could be held liable for damages.
Now, should a good Samaritan feel serious injury could be sustained, they are entitled to intervene without fear of being charged with a criminal or civil charge.