Animal related

ANIMAL LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

  • Cotati, CA
  • www.aldf.org

Mission Statement

ALDF's mission is to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system.

Main Programs

  1. Animal Law Program
  2. Litigation Program
  3. Criminal Justice Program

service areas

International

Self-reported by organization

ruling year

1980

chief executive for fy 2007

Mr. Steve Wells

Self-reported by organization

Keywords

Animal Rights, Animal Protection, Animal Welfare, Legal Protection for Animals, Animal Law, Animal rights law, animal advocacy

Self-reported by organization

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EIN

94-2681680

Also Known As

ALDF

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs) (D20)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (D01)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Self-reported by organization

Program 1

Animal Law Program

ALDF’s Animal Law Program™ works closely with law students and law professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law. Moving toward the day when animal law is part of the curriculum at each and every law school, the Animal Law Program collaborates with students, faculty, and school administrations to facilitate the development of animal law courses and assists students in forming Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapters.

Category

Animal-Related

Budget

$1,029,709.00

Population Served

Adults

Program 2

Litigation Program

The Animal Legal Defense Fund's (ALDF) Litigation Program files cutting-edge lawsuits to stop the abuse of companion animals, and animals abused in industries including factory farming, laboratories and the entertainment industry. ALDF staff attorney's may bring suit themselves, or ALDF may retain outside counsel to represent it; we may also file either as a named plantiff, or as the attorney's for other organizations or individuals. Our civil actions on behalf of animals often include filing amicus curiae briefs arguing the case for recognition of the bonds between humans and nonhuman animals and formal complaints against government agencies charged with enforcing laws meant to protect animals.

Category

Animal-Related

Budget

$1,318,935.00

Population Served

Adults

Program 3

Criminal Justice Program

Through our Criminal Justice Program, ALDF works with prosecutors and enforcement agencies to ensure that state criminal anti-cruelty statutes are vigorously enforced, and that those convicted of abuse, cruelty and neglect receive appropriate sentences.  We work with state legislators to enact felony anti-cruelty statutes in states that do no yet have them, and to upgrade existing laws in states that do. The criminal justice program also maintains a nationwide database of cruelty cases and current and model animal protection laws available to prosecutors, legislators and researchers.

Category

Animal-Related

Budget

$1,164,220.00

Population Served

Adults

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Self-reported by organization

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The goal of the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) is to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. We use the full force of the law to ensure animals everywhere receive the justice they deserve.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Every day, ALDF works to protect animals by:
    • Filing groundbreaking lawsuits to stop animal abuse and expand the boundaries of animal law.
    • Providing free legal assistance to prosecutors handling cruelty cases.
    • Working to strengthen state anti-cruelty statutes.
    • Encouraging the federal government to enforce existing animal protection laws.
    • Nurturing the future of animal law through Student Animal Legal Defense Fund chapters and our Animal Law Program.
    • Providing public education through seminars, workshops and other outreach efforts.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    ALDF has numerous resources that enable us to accomplish our goals. Our exemplary staff includes some of the leading visionaries guiding the field of animal law, such as ALDF’s Executive Director Stephen Wells, who founded ALDF’s successful Animal Law Program and helped to exponentially expand the student chapters (SALDF) of the Animal Legal Defense Fund from a handful of chapters to nearly 200. Steve also created a successful pro bono program by building upon our reputation and credibility as being the preeminent experts in the field of animal law. ALDF now has 1.4 million dollars annually in donated legal services, and has nearly doubled in size under his leadership.

    ALDF founder and “mother of animal law” Joyce Tischler, is the visionary who pioneered the field of animal law when no such thing existed. Today, she continues to develop the field of animal law and with Steve has helped stop wild animal trainers in Los Angeles from abusing primates in a landmark lawsuit, and helped set up a sanctuary for hundreds of animals in the infamous North Carolina Woodley hoarding case. Together, they lead an exceptional team of talented professionals who dedicate their lives to the protection of animals, and board members who are shaping tomorrow's dialogue about animals and the law.

    ALDF also works in collaboration with several key players in the field of Animal Law. The Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) is a historic collaboration between ALDF and Portland, Oregon’s Lewis & Clark Law School. As the nation’s premier academic animal law program, CALS offers classes, conferences, scholarships, clinical opportunities, and the first LLM program in animal law. Other ALDF collaborations include Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT); Environmental Law Institute (ELI); National District Attorney’s Association (NDAA); and the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA).
    ALDF also has successful programs and services in place that help to further our mission. The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Litigation Program files cutting-edge lawsuits to stop the neglect and abuse of animals of all stripes and bring those animals out of harm’s way. Our Criminal Justice Program works with law enforcement and prosecutors to seek maximum penalties for animal abusers. Through our Legislative Affairs Program, we help pass tougher animal protection laws and block bills proposed by those who seek to exploit or endanger animals. Our Animal Law Program is dedicated to fostering the field of animal law among legal professionals and in law schools, nationally and internationally, including working with an extensive law firm pro bono network, and nearly 200 Student ALDF chapters in law schools.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Our performance indicators are quite simple. We measure our progress based on the number of victories we win in the case against animal cruelty.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    It has been 35 extraordinary years since the founding of the ALDF. In that time, we have made a significant amount of progress. ALDF has helped establish greater protections for companion animals. We have filed friend of the court briefs in animal custody disputes, assisted in the recovery of adequate damages for wrongfully killed companion animals, helped change the law to establish trusts for the care of beloved animals in our lives, and accomplished many other things. For example, in one of the largest civil animal cruelty cases in history, ALDF v. Woodley, we won a landmark victory for animals and were awarded custody of over 300 dogs rescued from nightmarish conditions from North Carolina dog hoarders.

    The Animal Legal Defense Fund has also stopped hunts of bears and mountain lions as well as the violent removal of burros from federal lands. We have tackled such diverse topics as challenges to the intensive confinement of farmed animals and the “patenting” of genetically altered animals, as well as cases under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and federal Animal Welfare Act. From our earliest cases, saving more than 5,000 wild burros from certain death and stopping the importation of 71,500 monkeys for use in laboratory experiments, to our most recent victories freeing Ben the Bear from a roadside zoo, advancing our case to free Tony the Tiger from a truck stop in Louisiana, and helping to shut down the cruel California-based Cal-Cruz Hatcheries Inc., the Animal Legal Defense Fund is winning the case against animal cruelty.

    We have not yet established an Investigations Program, but our work to build on is underway. The creation of an Investigations Program will bring unprecedented litigation, criminal justice, and legislative opportunities to ALDF because it will give us the ability to investigate situations that can give rise to paradigm-changing lawsuits, prosecutions, and legislation. It will also enhance ALDF’s ability to directly support police and prosecutors in their work to hold animal abusers accountable for their crimes.
    We are also in the process of creating a national database of animal abuse convictions that will provide an additional tool for animal shelters, rescues, pet stores, and individuals to screen potential adopters and customers. Cities, Counties and States will soon be able to “op in” to an existing database by reporting convictions, rather than being tasked with creating & operating separate registries on their own. ALDF’s Do Not Adopt database will be open and accessible by anyone, but searchable only by name and date of birth (verifiable by a potential adopter’s driver’s license.) If a name matches, then the database will provide the name and date of birth of the individual as well as the type/date/location of the offense.

service areas

International

Self-reported by organization

Blog

The organization's Blog

Social Media

@AnimalLegalDefenseFund

@ALDF

@ALDFstaff

@ALDF/

photos




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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Animal Legal Defense Fund Inc
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

ANIMAL LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2013, 2012 and 2011
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Knowledge Base Search
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

CHIEF EXECUTIVE FOR FISCAL YEAR

Mr. Steve Wells

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Sarah Luick

No Affiliation

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?