Category Archives: companion animals

Thank You!

The UCLA Animal Law Program sends a warm thanks to everyone who attended our event Animal Shelter Litigation last night and showed your support for the excellent work of Bruce Wagman and Sheldon Eisenberg and your dedication to helping the animals of Los Angeles County! The handouts provided by the speakers will remain available for viewing and download at

For those at the event last night who asked about resources concerning making public records requests, two great sources are the Los Angeles Times’ Citizens’ Guide to Acquiring California Public Records and the Los Angeles Times’ Pocket Guide to the California Public Records Act. A third great resource, and one that is specific to public records act requests to shelters, is ShelterTrak, which has links to actual PRA requests to LA shelters and documents obtained through PRA requests.

Attorneys and rescuers interested in participating in a discussion and action group for matters concerning animal shelters, please contact us at and we will create a discussion list for collaboration.

Stay tuned for announcements for future events–we hope to see you there!


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Animal Shelter Litigation, October 25, 2011

animal shelter litigation flyer

The UCLA Animal Law Program is pleased to announce its next event: Animal Shelter Litigation, which will feature presentations by two prominent attorneys who have achieved significant victories in animal shelter litigation matters:

Sheldon Eisenberg

Sheldon Eisenberg

Mr. Eisenberg is a partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP in its commercial litigation department. He will be discussing his role in successfully suing the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care & Control to reinstate a volunteer rescuer whose right to “pull” animals from County shelters was revoked due to her criticism of the Department.


Bruce Wagman

Bruce Wagman

Mr. Wagman is a partner at Schiff Hardin LLP in its litigation department. He will be discussing his victories in shelter litigation in the broader context of companion animal problems, such as hoarding and the use of gas chambers at animal shelters. Mr. Wagman will also discuss his role in successfully suing the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care & Control for its failure to hold owner-surrendered animals for the legally mandated holding period.

Please join us for this event, which will be held on October 25, 2011 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the UCLA School of Law. There is no charge to attend the event, but it costs $11.00 to park at UCLA. Space is limited to individuals who have pre-registered due to the size of the room in which the event will be held. To submit a request to register for this event, please complete our online registration form at If you are an attorney attending the event and wish to receive MCLE credit, please indicate such in the form. Attorneys wishing to receive MCLE credit should arrive early so that we can process the necessary paperwork.

UPDATE: Individuals interested in reviewing the speakers’ handouts for the presentation may find the materials online at our site.

Registrants will be notified of the status of their requests within one week of the submission. For further details about this event, please contact the UCLA Animal Law Program at

Directions to the UCLA School of Law:
Take the 405 to the Sunset Boulevard exit.
Sunset Boulevard (east) to Hilgard Avenue, turn right.
Follow Hilgard Avenue to the Westholme Drive (second light) entrance to the campus.
Turn right on Westholme Drive.
The parking kiosk is immediately on the right.
Please tell the attendant that you are attending an event at the Law School, and you will be directed to the nearest available parking lot. The parking charge per vehicle is $11.00.

UCLA School of Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider.


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Rescue 2.0: Best Practices in Shelter Animal Rescue

Several people have asked for copies of Vicki’s presentation slides for the June 18, 2011 Rescuers’ Workshop. Ask, and you shall receive! The slides are available via Slideshare. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Thank you!

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Posted by on June 24, 2011 in companion animals, shelter law


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California Legislative Round-Up, Part 1

Logo for the UCLA Paw ReviewThe UCLA Animal Law Program will be hosting its first event next week, a workshop for animal rescuers titled Saving Animals’ Lives Through Shelter Rescue. To celebrate, we will focus our next posts to the UCLA Paw Review on proposed California legislation that affects companion animals.

The first bill on which we would like to focus is a bill introduced on February 2, 2011 by the California Assembly’s Committee on Agriculture: AB 222, which is simply titled “Food and Agriculture: Omnibus Bill.” The bill, as amended, would amend Sections 31108 (pertaining to the holding period for stray dogs) and 31752 (pertaining to the holding period for stray cats) of the Food & Agricultural Code to define the term “business day,” for purposes of California’s shelter laws, as any day that a public or private shelter is open to the public for at least 4 hours, excluding state holidays. Existing law requires that the holding period for a stray dog or a stray cat impounded in a shelter be six business days, not including the day of impoundment, with exceptions, as provided.

Shelter dogThe impetus for amendment was an opinion issued by the California Court of Appeal in Veena Purigoy v. Glenn Howell [PDF], which held that “Saturday is not a ‘business day’ within the meaning of section 31108(a).” The bill appears to have been sponsored by the State Humane Association of California. The Assembly Analysis of the bill states that, “The State Humane Association of California has raised this as a clarifying change since most private, and many public, shelters are open on Saturdays to provide the public more opportunity to rescue and/or adopt animals. Many are not open every day of a typical business week, that is Monday to Friday, for that purpose. The Association states that this change will provide the shelters the clarification needed so they don’t need to add additional days to their holding period and to meet the court’s interpretation of current statute.”

What do you think, readers? Should the legislature define “business day” to mean something other the its usual and ordinary meaning? Defining Saturday as a “business day” effectively shortens the holding period for dogs and cats; do you think that is consistent with the legislative intent of the Hayden Act to lengthen the holding period for animals taken into California’s animal shelters in order to increase opportunities for adoption and redemption? If you disagree with this change of California shelter law, please contact your representatives. For guidance on how to do so, and how to get started with legislative advocacy, please see the UCLA School of Law LibGuide entitled California Legislative Advocacy.


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News on Companion Animal Estates

Tony Lopez of KOVR Sacramento reports on companion animal estates.

This short video, featuring a report by Tony Lopez of news station KOVR Sacramento, discusses the plans of two families for their companions, if the humans in the family should pre-decease their companion animals. Estate planning for such possibilities is increasingly on the minds of people whose families include companion animals. There is considerable room for animal lawyers to get involved in this, but we hope for two things. First, we urge that any attorney working on estate planning also work to relieve the suffering of homeless animals in our animal shelters. These animals did not have affluent human caretakers or their affluent human caretakers did not anticipate the need because they thought their human family members would take care of their companion animals. It is important that shelter animals not be forgotten if one participates in this relatively new wave of securing brighter futures for animals whose humans thought to provide for them and had sufficient wherewithal to do so. Second, we recommend careful consideration and review of any potential caretaker or successor caretaker. Circumstances can change for the caretaker who takes over after the death of the first human companion to the animal. Not all organizations or individuals will approach caretaking responsibilities with the same degree of respect for the animal. Sometimes the thorniest issues are not legal.

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Posted by on June 9, 2011 in companion animals


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Saving Animals’ Lives Through Shelter Rescue

Saving Animals’ Lives Through Shelter Rescue

We are pleased to announce our first event! We invite members of the animal rescue community to attend a day-long workshop on Saving Animals’ Lives Through Shelter Rescue on June 18, 2011. The workshop will focus on discussions of legal issues pertaining to shelter animal rescue, how to work closely with shelter managers/employees to achieve the best results for animals, and strategies to address the challenges that arise from increased use of social media in animal rescue.

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Posted by on May 12, 2011 in companion animals, shelter law