Student group hosts legislator, professor for National Justice for Animals Week

Student Animal Legal Defense Fund hosts state Senator Montigny and Professor Vachon to talk justice for animals

Members of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund with State Senator Mark Montigny
Sen. Montigny (center) with SALDF officers and members

Massachusetts State Senator Mark Montigny and UMass Law Professor Christyne J. Vachon presented to the UMass Law community on issues in animal law during National Justice for Animals Week, February 26 to March 4, as part of an event series planned by the UMass Law Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF).


Senator Montigny discussed “An Act to Prevent Animal Suffering and Death,” a bill he introduced in the Massachusetts legislature in 2016. The bill was signed into law and now permits civilians and emergency crews to break windows of cars containing unattended animals if the animal is suffering from extreme temperatures. The law also bans pet owners from tethering a dog outside for more than five hours.

Professor C.J. Vachon talks about animal law to Student Animal Legal Defense Fund audience, March 2, 2017
Prof. Vachon

Professor Vachon discussed her extensive work in animal advocacy and provided an overview of how attorneys may encounter animal law issues in diverse practice areas such as trusts and estates, contracts, business organizations, and property.


Student Animal Legal Defense Fund tabling event, March 2, 2017, with SALDF President Anthony Voss, member Casey Christo, and Vice President Mary Chaffee
SALDF President Doss, member Casey Christo, and Vice President Mary Chaffee
Also during the week, in the law school lobby, SALDF members offered information about animal law and about the work of the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF).  ALDF is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. UMass Law established the 214th student affiliate of the organization in 2016.  SALDF officers are Anthony Doss, president; Mary Chaffee, vice president; Marissa Engel, treasurer; and Kayla Venckauskas and Barnaby McLaughlin, secretaries.  Professor Richard Peltz-Steele serves as faculty adviser.

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