Continuing Legal Education

Illinois Animal Law Conference

February 9, 2018
8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (reception to follow)
8.50 MCLE hours, including 1.00 Professional Responsibility MCLE credit hours (PMCLE credit subject to approval)
Presented by Animal Law

Southern Illinois University School of Law
Room 120 (Auditorium) – Lesar Law Building
1150 Douglas Drive
(map and directions)


The ISBA would like to offer a special thanks to this program’s financial supporter
Brooks McCormick Jr. Trust for Animal Rights Law and Policy
AND Best Friends Animal Society
for helping to make this opportunity possible.


Don’t miss ISBA’s Illinois Animal Law Conference in Carbondale! Get the updates you need to affectively advise your clients on a number of important animal law topics. Family law attorneys, animal law practitioners, environmental law lawyers, agricultural law attorneys, and counsel for municipalities with all levels of practice experience who attend this seminar will better understand:

  • What Hurricane Harvey and Irma have taught us about animals and natural disaster planning and recovery;
  • The regulation of feral and community cats;
  • What you need to know about assistance animals;
  • How the Bad Newz Kennels case has affected animal laws;
  • How to handle the family pet in marriage dissolution cases;
  • The regulations affecting humane care, animal control, and dangerous/vicious dog proceedings;
  • The developments in farm animal protection;
  • The ethical issues to be aware of when handling an animal law case; and
  • Much more.

Program Coordinator/Moderator:
Jane E. McBride
, Illinois Humane, Springfield


NOTE: Your registration includes access to electronic course materials that will be sent to you via email prior to the seminar. Printed course materials may be purchased for a nomial fee via the registration page.



8:00 – 9:30 a.m.  Natural Disaster Planning and Recovery: Lessons Learned from Harvey and Irma
Planning and recovery in Texas and Florida in 2017 were the true test of the PETS Act being implemented after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Although the response to last year's storms was better orchestrated, animals were accepted by a multitude of organizations and shelters with a variety of adoption, placement, and euthanasia policies. This segment examines applicable laws and current issues regarding natural disaster response, as well as planning information for pets in every size of community.
Moderator: Stephen F. Hedinger, Sorling Northrup, Springfield
Andrea Joy Albrecht, Best Friends Animal Society, Utah
Terry L. Fulk, Offices of EMS and Disaster Preparedness, Murphysboro
Scott Trebatoski, Animal Services Department, Hillsborough County, Florida

9:30 – 9:45 a.m.  Break
(beverages provided)

9:45 – 10:45 a.m.  Community Cats: An Update on the Practices of TNVR and Return to Field, Accommodations, and Teaming Up with Wildlife Population Science

Community cats (also known as feral cats) are prolific, and the animal welfare community, local governments, wildlife advocates, and environmentalists agree it would be better if there were fewer of them. Trap, neuter, vaccinate, and return are community programs that harness the natural tendency of people to feed cats and see to their well-being. This presentation discusses municipal law and how it is evolving to accommodate these practices, as well as how the American Bar Association has adopted a resolution that approves and acknowledges these humane methods and encourages accommodation in the law. A discussion on how wildlife biologists are helping with this issue is also included.
John Boone, Great Basin Bird Observatory, Nevada
Prof. Joan Schaffner, George Washington University School of Law, Washington, D.C.

10:45 – 11:45 a.m.  Assistance Animals: Case Law and Regulation – What You Need to Know

Recent years have seen numerous regulations governing the accommodation of assistance animals, as well as a wealth of case law. Housing, airports, and schools have all been the subject of legal action. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from our presenters as they provide an overview of this evolving area of the law, as well as a look at the training and handling of the animals themselves.
Moderator: Alicia Ruiz, Carbondale
Stacey A. Aschemann, Equip for Equality, Inc., Carbondale
Behesha Doan, This Able Veteran, Carbondale
Prof. Rebecca Huss, Valparaiso University Law School, Indiana

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Lunch (provided)

12:15 – 1:00 p.m.  A Rare Look into the Bad Newz Kennels Case: Ten Years Later

Professor Rebecca Huss was appointed by the District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia to oversee the dogs seized during the Bad Newz Kennels case. Her recommendation to place 47 pit bulls with eight rescue organizations was approved in December 2007 by the judge overseeing the case. Ledy VanKavage has focused much of her work on the protection and proper treatment of bully breed animals. This session discusses how the Bad Newz Kennels case has impacted laws and shelter policy in the tens years since the dogs were seized. 
Prof. Rebecca Huss, Valparaiso University Law School, Indiana
Ledy VanKavage, Best Friends Animal Society, Maryville

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.  A New Day: The Well-Being of the Pet in Marriage Dissolution

Once again, Illinois leads the nation in animal-related legislation with Senate Bill 1261, which requires that the wellbeing of family pets “shall” be taken into consideration during dissolution of marriage cases. This panel presentation examines all the factors that need to be taken into consideration, what expert and factual evidence may come into play, and how these dissolution settlements and orders might best be drafted.
Moderator: Hon. William E. Holdridge, Appellate Court, Third District, Farmington
Behesha Doan, This Able Veteran, Carbondale
David H. Hopkins, Schiller DuCanto & Fleck, Wheaton
Angela E. Peters, Buffalo Grove Law Offices, Arlington Heights

2:00 – 3:15 p.m.  The Nuts & Bolts of Animal Regulation: Humane Care, Animal Control, and Dangerous/Vicious Dog Proceedings

This comprehensive overview focuses on the basics of animal regulation in Illinois and among our local municipalities. Topics include: a review of both the Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act and the Illinois Animal Control Act, as well as the civil and criminal procedure entailed with dangerous dogs and vicious dog proceedings. Novel issues – such as keeping chickens and llamas in the urban environment – are also addressed.
Anna Morrison Ricordati, AMR Law Group, LLC, Chicago
Jamie Snyder, City of Carbondale, Carbondale
Angelica W. Wawrzynek, Tapella & Eberspacher LLC, Mattoon

3:15 – 3:30 p.m.  Break
(refreshments provided)

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.  The Law of Food and Sustainability: Developments in Farm Animal Protection

This segment addresses a number of issues and concerns relative to farm animal production, and efforts to date to bring additional regulation to confined animal agriculture. Much of this work has yet to directly address farm animal protection and welfare concerns, but instead focuses upon the larger picture of the existence of these densely populated facilities on the landscape and in proximity to local rural communities. The heightened regulatory environment draws attention to the many concerns associated with the industry, and indirectly heightens awareness regarding the wellbeing of the animals themselves.
Marc Ayers, Humane Society of the United States, Springfield
Prof. Wenona Whitfield, SIU School of Law, Carbondale

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.  Identifying and Resolving Ethical Issues Arising in Animal Law*

Join us for this interactive segment that uses various hypothetical scenarios to discuss potential issues that can arise in animal law cases, the applicable Illinois Rules of Professional Responsibility, and the possible solutions to each situation.
Moderator: Anna Morrison Ricordati, AMR Law Group, LLC, Chicago
Timothy A. Gutknecht, Stumpf & Gutknecht PC, Columbia
Peter L. Rotskoff, Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, Chicago

5:30 - 6:30 p.m.  Complimentary Networking Reception

Sponsored by
Brooks McCormick Jr. Trust for Animal Rights Law and Policy and Best Friends Animal Society


*Professional Responsibility MCLE credit subject to approval