How everyday students, adults can get involved to save pets
Meet Anna Morrison-Ricordati of Animal Legal Defense Fund
Illinois pet owners have bragging rights regarding animals being safer here than in other states. According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), the Midwestern state is ranked No. 1 in the 2019 United States Animal Protection Laws. (Oregon, Colorado, Maine and Rhode Island are in the other four top spots.)
That doesn’t make these five states perfect for pets. Of the approximately 6.3 million companion animals who enter shelters nationwide every year, approximately 3.1 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats, reports American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Using Chicago as an example, a 1997 Chicago Sun Times reported that 26,394 were killed. (More than 93% of homeless pets taken in were euthanized out of a total of 28,314 cats and dogs.) Paws Chicago reported that number declined to 1,108 euthanizing procedures by 2020 (of the 8,950 pets that came to city pounds).
Regardless of this, one (healthy, active) pet—homeless or not—who just cannot find a home is one too many. There are simple ways to help decrease those numbers even more, and improve pet health and safety in these states and others. Here are five suggestions.
1. Support the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
“I worked in patent law for a couple of years just because that was the logical route to go,” said Chicago lawyer Anna Morrison-Ricordati to Shamontiel in a CBS Chicago series from 2014. “I just realized that I like animal law a whole lot more once I was exposed to it.”
“But the ALDF is a group of attorneys that have a lot of animal interests in mind,” said Morrison-Ricordati, who works in private practice for AMR Law Group LLC and as an animal rights attorney. "And the SALDF are divisions in most of the law schools that have student groups. They address issues that come up not just with companion animals but for wildlife, animals used in entertainment and clothing, and also farm animals. They really address the needs of all of those animals and of course people protecting animals as clients.”
Not interested in working in the legal industry? Here are a few ways to support the organization anyway.
Organize a fundraising event to help ALDF.
Donate a used car, truck, RV or boat, which is eligible for a charitable tax deduction.
Purchase kibble from animal-free and cruelty-free dog food companies (ex. V-Dog).
Here are four other ways to assist with pets too.