An interesting lawsuit is playing out in Robeson County, North Carolina and animal lawyers might want to pay attention. The suit was brought by a local animal rights activist (sounds like the kiss of death already, right?) against the county shelter, which has been the recipient of much criticism. The defendants, as usual, said that the matter was not one for the courts but for administrative resolution. Presumably, they argued that the plaintiff did not have standing.
However, the court did not agree, at least entirely. It agreed to hear claims that the shelter was unnecessarily euthanizing and abusing animals in violation of state law. And it put in place an injunction, pending the outcome of the lawsuit, preventing the shelter from euthanizing an animal for at least 24 hours after a rescue group sends a fax expressing plans to adopt the animal.
The plaintiff is represented by Calley Gerber, whose firm is called the Gerber Animal Law Center. It would seem that the growth of animal law, and the increasing number of lawyers setting out to make it their career, might start to pay off in finally getting some cases into court that involve the institutional use and abuse of animals.
Photo: Shared with permission from the Creative Commons License