Target: Connecticut Representative Diana Urban
Goal: Allow animal advocates in the court system
Connecticut State Representative Diana Urban recently proposed a bill that would allow animals to have legal representation within the court system. Animals have had representation in the past in more high-profile cases, most notably the Michael Vick Trial, but having advocates readily available to the public could dramatically increase the number of convictions and deserves our support.
Representative David Baram made a statement saying, “I think it can be very helpful to the court in much the same way that we appoint guardians ad litem for minor children who can’t really voice their opinions or speak for themselves.” At its core, legal representation is an acknowledgement that animals have interests independent of their owners and that those interests should have equal consideration.
Initially, the law would only apply to animals who are involved in abuse cases, but Representatives expect that the law will quickly evolve to include divorce settlements. Hundreds of dogs and cats end up in shelters every year because of divorce and pets are often used as leverage in divorce trials. Having legal representation would ensure that a ruling has the animal’s best interests in mind.
Last year Rhode Island passed a similar law. Please sign the petition below so we can take one more step toward animals being regarded as family rather than property within the court system.
Dear Representative Urban,
You recently proposed a bill that would make legal representation for animals a reality in Connecticut. Viewing animals as property rather than family or lives with interests independent of humans has caused a great deal of harm for pets over the years and has also made it possible for many who commit horrific acts of cruelty to be set free with a slap on the wrist.
Thank you so much for trying to give a voice to those who often do not have one within the court system. I sincerely hope that this bill becomes law and state governments across the country take notice.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: John Haynes Photography via Flickr