KU News Release

April 19, 2011
Contact: Mindie Paget, School of Law, 785-864-9205

Symposium to gather experts on prosecuting animal cruelty cases

More Information

LAWRENCE — Animal welfare advocates, law enforcement officials and attorneys will participate in a symposium next week at the University of Kansas School of Law about prosecuting animal cruelty, particularly dog fighting crimes.

“It’s Our Turn to Fight for Them” will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, April 25, at the Burge Union. The event, presented by KU’s student chapter of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, is free and open to the public. Participating attorneys will be eligible for 1.5 hours of continuing legal education credit in Kansas and Missouri. Register online at the event website.

“The symposium brings together the country's biggest names in dog fighting prosecution, including the special master of the dogs seized in the Michael Vick case and the assistant U.S. attorney from the largest dog fighting case in U.S. history,” said Katie Barnett, a third-year law student who is president of the KU Student Animal Legal Defense Fund and co-founder of Game Dog Guardian, an advocacy group committed to fighting breed-discriminatory legislation and evaluating and rehabilitating pit bull terrier victims of cruelty.

“They will communicate the most effective ways to prosecute dog fighting and how to properly evaluate the dogs seized in these horrific cruelty cases.”

Presentations will include:

— Raj Prasad, attorney, Animal Protection Unit, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office (Michigan), how to achieve a 98 percent conviction rate on dog fighting cases
— Suzanne Valdez, clinical professor of law and director, Criminal Prosecution Clinic, KU, help from law students/clinics; how to get the busy work done for free
— Rebecca Huss, guardian/special master, Bad Newz Kennels, role of a guardian/special master
— Jane Pansing Brown, assistant U.S. attorney, Western District of Missouri, investigating and prosecuting the largest dog fighting case in U.S. history
— Cynthia Bathurst, director, Safe Humane Chicago, training police and judges on forfeiture; court case dogs program; community advocacy

For more information, contact the KU Student Animal Legal Defense Fund at kusaldf@gmail.com.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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