Animal Law Review

Author Details

Debra L. Muller-Harris is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a 2011 J.D. Candidate at Phoenix School of Law.

First Page



Cases involving cruelty to animals are currently handled by the traditional criminal courts. These courts, however, are not effective at punishing animal abusers or protecting animal victims. Although all states have laws criminalizing various forms of animal cruelty, the reality is that most cruelty cases are not prosecuted; even when cruelty cases are successfully prosecuted, punishments are weak. This Comment proposes the creation of an Animal Violence Court, using juvenile animal abusers and adult hoarders as ideal candidates for a pilot animal cruelty justice system. The Animal Violence Court will provide for the ongoing safety and care of animal victims, will work to rehabilitate offenders, and will require long-term monitoring of offenders by the court. Modeled after similar problemsolving courts, the Animal Violence Court will improve upon the current criminal justice system, rehabilitate offenders, and protect innocent animals, sending a clear message that animal abuse will not be tolerated.

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Animal Law Commons



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