HSUS gets law enforcement arm

Aug 23, 2013

The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) recently announced it had created a National Law Enforcement Council to “assist The HSUS to strengthen and better enforce laws to protect animals from cruelty.” The group is comprised of mostly of attorneys and a few current and past law enforcement professionals.

“We are honored to join forces with our National Law Enforcement Council to combat animal cruelty, fighting and poaching crimes,” said Ann Chynoweth, senior director of HSUS’ animal cruelty and fighting campaign and past long-time member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

“By fostering relationships across local, state, and federal levels of law enforcement and prosecution, we can make meaningful improvements to policies and actions that protect animals across the country.”

While the announcement of the new group put an emphasis on its members from the “law enforcement field”—a phrase which generally conjures up the men and women in badges and blue—the list of its members shows an emphasis on the courtroom side of law.

Of the dozen council members, seven are current or former attorney generals, district attorneys, or assistant prosecuting attorneys for localities. The remaining five members are current or former police officers or sheriff deputies.

According to the announcement, the council’s activities will include “supporting state and federal legislation that strengthens animal protection laws, promoting animal protection training opportunities for local law enforcement, and raising awareness of The HSUS’ animal crimes rewards, tip lines, and other resources.”

Given the pattern followed by HSUS with their ag councils, it is not inconceivable that this national council will be followed by state-specific law enforcement councils. — Kerry Halladay, WLJ Editor