R.I.P: In Memoriam: Dr. Mel Richardson

Comments Off on R.I.P: In Memoriam: Dr. Mel Richardson

Posted by Matthew Liebman, ALDF Senior Attorney on January 6, 2014

It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to a dear friend of the animals and of ALDF.  Dr. Mel Richardson, affectionately known as Dr. Mel to his friends and colleagues, passed away on January 2 at the age of 63.

With more than 40 years of veterinary experience, Dr. Mel was a tireless advocate for captive wild animals.

Mel during filming of Lion Ark. He will be sadly missed. — with Mel Richardson. Animal Defenders International

Picture from; Facebook Save All Elephants:-https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152543127764358&set=a.10152543127689358.1073741832.75101244357&type=1&theater

I first met Mel at an elephant summit at the Performing Animal Welfare Society sanctuary about four years ago. I was immediately charmed by his laid-back demeanor, his sense of humour, his discernable kindness, and, of course, his Georgian accent. Dr. Mel quickly became an important part of ALDF’s work on behalf of captive wildlife. He was the expert witness in our lawsuit against the City of Seattle concerning the inhumane captivity of elephants at the Woodland Park Zoo, where Mel was once a zookeeper.

Dr. Mel was the veterinarian in charge of transporting Ben the bear from a tiny, barren concrete cage to a spacious, naturalistic enclosure at the PAWS sanctuary after a lawsuit filed by ALDF and PETA freed Ben from the roadside zoo in North Carolina that held him captive.

Most recently, Mel wrote a comment letter on behalf of ALDF concerning the cruel captivity otwo elephants at the Niabi Zoo in Illinois, who were ultimately transferred to better conditions (albeit, at another zoo).

He was also a regular consultant for us on all sorts captive wildlife cases, and the phrase “Let’s call Dr. Mel and ask him” was uttered frequently at our litigation meetings. These are just a few examples of Mel’s work, and he did much more for many other organizations. His primary allegiance was to the animals and he was happy to help anyone at any time.

We will miss Dr. Mel greatly, not only as a colleague and a consultant, but as a friend. He died too soon, but he left a wonderful legacy that will continue to inspire us to fight for freedom for animals.

News Link:-http://aldf.org/blog/in-memoriam-dr-mel-richardson/

Patrick the pit bull’s owner says she abandoned dog, but ‘never harmed him’

Comments Off on Patrick the pit bull’s owner says she abandoned dog, but ‘never harmed him’

Kisha Curtis says she couldn’t handle owning a pit bull puppy, so days after getting the dog she tied it to the stairwell door of her Newark high-rise and left it in the hallway on the 19th floor.

Kisha Curtis, the Newark woman charged with throwing her pit bull down a trash chute last year, defends herself outside the Essex County Veterans Courthouse.
Curtis admits leaving the pit bull, named Patrick by his caregivers, in the hall outside her apartment, but denies starving and torturing him. Curtis’ attorney, Andrew Rojas, is seeking community service while the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office wants her to serve more than a year in prison. (Video by Jennifer Brown/The Star-Ledger)Watch video

The dog was soon discovered in a plastic bag at the bottom of the trash chute, starving and badly hurt. Curtis was arrested and charged with animal cruelty. The case immediately gained national attention when the images of the emaciated and hobbled brown and white canine, later dubbed “Patrick the pit bull,” became public.

But in her first extended interview since that March 2011 arrest, Curtis on Monday denied ever abusing the dog, which has since been nursed back to good health.

“I’ve never harmed him or tortured him in any type of way,” the 28-year-old said, standing outside the Veterans Courthouse in Newark where she made a brief appearance Monday before the case was adjourned to July 31. “What I did was place him in my hallway, but I’ve never brung any danger to him. You know, I didn’t starve him or anything like that.”

Curtis, who has rejected a plea offer from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office of 18 months in prison, said Patrick “was still healthy and had meat on him” when she thought a Garden Spires building security guard had taken it away.

The prosecutor’s office would not comment on any aspect of Curtis’ account.

“I’m for certain that he was going to be ok when I placed him in my hallway,” she said, her tan knit hat covering dyed red hair, and with dime-sized tattoos of a red heart and star on her face. Curtis, a mother of two children, said she still receives threats on Facebookwhere multiple Patrick fan pages have been created — and is harassed and accosted on the street.

Curtis said she grew up around dogs but never had owned one before. She is applying for a pretrial intervention program, which would eventually wipe the criminal charge from her record.

Watch the video & read the rest:http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/07/patrick_the_pit_bulls_owner_sa.html

 ALDF Back in Court Demanding State Take Action on Tony the Truck Stop Tiger, Now Exhibited Without a Permit

Comments Off on  ALDF Back in Court Demanding State Take Action on Tony the Truck Stop Tiger, Now Exhibited Without a Permit

Baton Rouge, La. – This morning, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit to force the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to do its job of enforcing Louisiana’s big cat ban in the case of Tony, Grosse Tete’s “truck stop tiger.” Michael Sandlin’s permit to keep Tony, an eleven-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger, expired in December, yet he has continued to keep Tony confined at the Tiger Truck Stop, in open violation of state law.

ALDF’s lawsuit would compel the Department to take steps to enforce the law and report Sandlin’s illegal possession of Tony to local law enforcement for prosecution. In addition, ALDF, along with two Louisiana residents, today filed a petition to intervene in Sandlin’s current lawsuit against the state; the interveners seek to defend the state’s law banning private ownership of big cats. The law offices of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, & Berkowitz, P.C. are providing pro bonoassistance with the lawsuit and the petition to intervene.

Tony the Tiger

In November 2011, the East Baton Rouge District Court granted ALDF’s request for a permanent injunction against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, ordering the Department to revoke the permit that allowed Sandlin to display Tony as a roadside exhibit at the truck stop where he has languished for over a decade. Despite the fact that Sandlin’s permit expired in December and cannot be renewed, he continues to display Tony, in violation of the big cat law, which the Department is responsible for enforcing.

“The state of Louisiana has explicit regulations designed to protect tigers like Tony, and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is required to enforce them” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “The court has already granted Tony and ALDF a victory by ruling that Michael Sandlin’s permit to display Tony was illegal. Sandlin, now without a permit, cannot be allowed to continue to exploit this tiger with impunity.”

Meanwhile, Sandlin and the Tiger Truck Stop are suing the state, arguing that Louisiana’s ban on private ownership of big cats like Tony is unconstitutional—flying in the face of the current national sentiment that dangerous exotic animals should be more strictly regulated. Ohio is currently considering a bill that would ban new ownership of captive wild animals, following the massacre of 48 animals including lions, tigers, and bears, who were released by their Zanesville owner last October. Additionally, in February, a bipartisan bill—the “Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act”—was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would prohibit the breeding and private possession of captive big cats. ALDF’s petition in intervention supports Louisiana’s power to safeguard public safety and animal welfare through such legislative measures.

Animal Legal Defense Fund : ALDF Back in Court Demanding State Take Action on Tony the Truck Stop Tiger, Now Exhibited Without a Permit

Creem supports extending restraining orders to pets – Brookline, Massachusetts – Brookline TAB

Comments Off on Creem supports extending restraining orders to pets – Brookline, Massachusetts – Brookline TAB

State House – Beacon Hill Roll Call records the votes of local senators on two roll call from the week of March 19-23. There were no roll calls in the House last week.

Restraining orders would include pets (S 2184)

Senate 33-0, approved an amendment that would allow the inclusion of pets in temporary restraining orders. The measure would allow the court to temporarily award the possession of an animal to the victim and to prohibit the accused abuser from abusing, threatening or taking the pet.

Supporters pointed to cases in which animals are abused or even killed by the abuser in order to threaten the victim. They pointed to a study that showed half of battered women delay leaving a violent situation because they fear for their pets.

(A “Yes” vote is for the amendment.)

Sen. Cynthia Creem              Yes 

 Count pets that are licensed (S 2184)

Senate 4-29, rejected an amendment that would require the state’s Division of Agricultural Resources for five years to file an annual report with the Legislature detailing the number of dogs, cats and ferrets that have been licensed in each city and town during the previous year.

The amendment was proposed to a bill that changes some of the state’s animal control laws including allowing cities and towns to set their own fees for dog licensing. Current law sets a statewide uniform fee of $3 for a male dog, $6 for a female dog and $3 for a spayed female dog.

Amendment supporters said requiring a report on the number of licensed animals will give legislators an idea of whether people choose not to register their pets when the fees are too high.

Amendment opponents said the report is unnecessary and just another example of more government bureaucracy that provides no public benefit.

(A “Yes” vote is for the reporting requirement. A “No” vote is against it.)

Sen. Cynthia Creem              No 

More via Creem supports extending restraining orders to pets – Brookline, Massachusetts – Brookline TAB.




%d bloggers like this: