Animal Welfare

While Child Welfare Law is progressing from a widely accepted practice to a legal specialization, Animal Welfare Law hasn’t enjoyed as much acceptance in state or federal court houses. However, these times are rapidly changing and many lawyers throughout the United States are delving into Animal Law in one way or another. Gabriela is a true advocate for animals.  Her advocacy is reflected every day in her personal life as well. For example, she maintains a vegan diet which she feels is essential to being a passionate, effective and conscientious legal advocate for animals.

Some animal lawyers distance themselves from the term “animal rights,” seeing themselves, instead, as working within the existing legal system to gain protection for animals. Others are pursuing more sweeping changes and questioning the age-old legal boundaries between animals and humans, a controversial and divisive issue.    

~ Kathryn Alfisi, Esq.

Animal Law encompasses all traditional legal practice areas including torts, contracts, criminal law, trusts & estates, family, constitutional, and property law to name but a few. Although many disputes may involve an animal, a case will involve Animal Welfare specifically if the case is focused on the either the animal’s best interest or animals’ best interest, as a whole. Although the roots of Animal Welfare Law are ancient, this type of practice area is still a relatively new subject in today’s court houses. However, this developing area is growing at a rapid pace and becoming more widespread every day perhaps, in part, due to media coverage of animal cruelty incidents or generous gifts made to benefit animal causes. Increasingly, law schools offer Animal Law courses and legal practitioners are venturing into this field of practice possibly due to the exciting challenge it presents or out of sensitivity toward animals and their plight.