Pet column: Animal protection bills and new crime tips app |

Pet column: Animal protection bills and new crime tips app

Dawn Armstrong
Special to the Tribune
two bull terrier dogs jumping in unison
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto

Hopeful strides toward a culture which honors humane values — and criminalizes all forms of abuse — have been made in recent years. Palo Alto will host the annual Animal Law Conference at Stanford Law School this fall. An international event, it is sponsored by the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School, Stanford University Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Public Policy Program, and the respective Student Animal Legal Defense Fund chapters. Attorneys, law students, professors, and activists will share practical skills and experience for advancing the interests of animals through the legal system.

Announced in February, the Animal Legal Defense Fund app for iPhone and Android allows citizen witnesses to report crimes against animals, providing instant evidence to local law enforcement through a national reporting system. “ALDF Crime Tips” is a safe way to protect animals with audio, video, still photos and GPS tracking. Using the same system established for general crime reporting, evidence is sent automatically from a smart phone to law enforcement in the area of the suspected crime against animals. The number “911” should still be used in emergencies, but the app provides actual evidence for investigation, prosecution, and/or conviction of suspected crimes as well as alerts to crimes in progress. “Crime Tips” can be downloaded free from iTunes App and Google Play App stores.

An encouraging number of bills concerning the welfare of domestic, farm, and wild animals are in process during California and Nevada 2013 legislative sessions. Politicians are increasingly aware of the priority of humane treatment of all sentient beings in the minds of constituents — the voters who elect them. Here are sample bills in process now. Let your elected representative know how you want him or her to vote by sending a letter or calling their office. Personal contact is more effective than email petitions. Note that bill hearing schedules are often changed. Bills may be withdrawn, referred to committee, revised, postponed. Contact the sponsoring legislator’s office or the official legislation website for up-to-the-minute status. Personal tracking is available for specific legislation.

California, address letters to individual representative at: State Capitol Building, Sacramento, CA 95814

AB 265 Dog Parks: to promote and preserve free play space.

AB 272 Rabies: to avoid double vaccinations and quarantine.

AB 339 Flea Market Animal Sales: to protect animals and buyers.

AB 711 Lead Shot: to protect consumers and animals.

AB 924 Rustling: to increase penalties for animal theft.

AB 1213 Bobcats: to ban bobcat fur trade.

SB 65 Budget: to maintain animal adoption standards.

SB132 Mountain Lions: to allow alternatives to killing.

SB 688 Animal Medicines: to help keep medications affordable.

Nevada, address letters to individual representative at: Legislative Building, 401 S. Carson St., Carson City, NV 89701-4747

SB 83 Cockfighting: to increase penalties for cockfighting.

SB 73 Identity Protection: to protect identity of crime reporting party.

SB 82 Bears: to establish bears as protected mammals.

45-450 Traps: to protect pets and other trapped animals.

SB 72 Horse Tripping: to protect horses in entertainment.

45-161 Exotic Animals: to protect wild animals from private ownership.

747 Swap Meets: to protect animals and buyers.

SJR1 Horses and Burros: to preserve and protect wild horses and burros.

Speak up for domestic, farm and wild animals. They have no voice of their own.

— Provided by the Lake Tahoe Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to help “Keep Tahoe Kind”. Dawn Armstrong is the executive director.

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