Coming Together to Help Victims of Animal Abuse: A Pro Bono CLE for Lawyers and Animal Welfare Organizations

Coming Together to Help Victims of Animal Abuse: A Pro Bono CLE for Lawyers and Animal Welfare Organizations


Friday, October 25, 2019, 8:30 a.m.–noon at the Bar Association of Lehigh County

Each year in Pennsylvania, thousands of animals are victims of abuse and neglect at the hands of their owners. The fortunate ones are rescued by dedicated animal welfare organizations, who file criminal charges against the abusers—but what happens to the animals after that? Unless an owner willingly surrenders, an abused animal can languish at a shelter for months or even years as the criminal process drags on. Caring for victims of animal abuse places a tremendous strain on the resources of the welfare organizations, especially in large hoarding situations, and remaining in cages at a shelter, ineligible for adoption, places a tremendous strain on the animals themselves.

Pennsylvania’s recently-enacted Costs of Care of Seized Animals Act is a powerful tool to help rescues recover the costs of caring for these animals while the criminal case is pending and also expedites the forfeiture and subsequent adoption of animals whose owners refuse to pay.

Learn the nuts and bolts of investigating reports of animal cruelty and neglect, executing search warrants, taking animals into protective custody, and prosecuting abusive owners. Learn how to file a Pennsylvania Costs of Care Petition and put on an evidentiary hearing. Understand the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct that are implicated in criminal and civil actions, including Rules 1.14, 1.16, 3.1, 3.6, 3.8, and 4.3.

Network with representatives of various SPCAs and other animal welfare organizations who need your help. Spend some quality time with adoptable kittens.

Speakers: Joann Lytle and Ashley Turner, McCarter & English, LLP. Penny Ellison, Adjunct Professor of Animal Law and Ethics, University of Pennsylvania Law School and
Barbara R. Paul, Esquire, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia. Nikki Thompson, Chief Humane Society Police Officer, Bucks County SPCA

*Approved for 1 ethics credit and 2.0 substantive credits in NY, NJ, and PA. DE CLE credit pending. There is no charge to attend this seminar. Attendees requiring PA CLE credit are asked to provide a check payable to McCarter & English, LLP, in the amount of $4.50 to cover the registration fee charged by the Pennsylvania CLE Board.

Please contact Alyse Pashman at to register.