How can I find an attorney who specializes in companion animal law?

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Animal laws vary from state to state. There are also laws that have been expanded, repealed or revised. So, while it’s complex, finding an attorney with this specialty really isn’t any different than locating one in any other specialty.

Since animal law is so complicated, though, never try to sort out an issue without an attorney, the ASPCA or some other animal group, especially if you’re dealing with something like a liability issue.

Here are some places you might explore in seeking one:

• Your veterinarian: Veterinarians and lawyers connect each other on a regular basis. Yours will most likely be able to give you recommendations.
• Pet stores, groomers, animal “day care” centers.
• Your own lawyer. Many law firms have multiple attorneys, each having a different specialty. They also tend to know and refer one another.
• Business organizations, such as BNI.
• Lawyer.com and other directories.
• Internet: Type in “animal organizations” and you’ll get a huge list and many of them will know of the appropriate attorney for you.
• Friend, neighbor or family member: It’s always better to get a referral from someone who has actually used the service, so ask around!
• Local Humane Society, ASPCA, animal activist groups, or community organizations.
• Animal Legal Defense Fund: For more than three decades, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has been fighting to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. Founded in 1979 by attorneys active in shaping the emerging field of animal law, ALDF has blazed the trail for stronger enforcement of anti-cruelty laws and more humane treatment of animals in every corner of American life. Today, ALDF’s groundbreaking efforts to push the U.S. legal system to end the suffering of abused animals are supported by thousands of dedicated attorneys and more than 100,000 members. Every day, ALDF works to protect animals. Since their staff is comprised mainly of attorneys, they should definitely be able to help. E-mail them at: info@adlf.org.

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