Our Justice for Animals Campaign was established in September of 2015 to expand and complement In Defense of Animals’ Hope Animal Sanctuary successes of the past 24 years.
In Defense of Animals’ Hope Animal Sanctuary has performed miracles in the arena of animal cruelty investigation, rescue, care, and placing, or giving a permanent home to animals seized or surrendered from cruelty, or circumstances in which their guardians no longer had the resources to care for them. Cases that In Defense of Animals has taken on have resulted in the changing of state laws and regulations.
Due to poverty, lack of education, and a culture stepped in the acceptance that the abuse of animals in agriculture is acceptable the South has fostered an atmosphere in which abuse and cruelty was often unreported and laws were designed more for the protection of so-called “accepted practices” in agribusiness than for the protection of animals from wanton cruelty and neglect.
The Justice for Animals campaign envisions a Deep South where all animals are treated with dignity and respect. Starting at the local level, moving state and region-wide, we work to foster an environment and encourage the necessary actions - most importantly, legislative - that result in a greatly improved existence for all animals. The campaign also acts on incidents of aggravated cruelty to immediately seek justice and improve ordinances in the communities in which these crimes occur. Concurrently, the campaign works to educate young people - tomorrow's leaders - to respect and treat animals humanely and utilizes the media, and social to promote our cause, alert citizens of cruelty situations and encourage them to encourage decision makers to take action.
Although still in its infancy, the campaign has already achieved some significant successes:
- The City of Winona, Mississippi, changed their city ordinance to incorporate a maximum (but still too low) fine for an animal cruelty conviction to $2,500, up from an absurdly low $100.
- The mayor of Madison, Mississippi (a highly influential community in the state), has directed the city attorney to come up with the strongest ordinance state law will allow.
- The campaign is building a coalition of like-minded people and organizations. Meetings are being held around the state to enlist new members to help ignite a fire for justice and to push efforts to change regional ordinances.
- Hundreds of children of The Boys & Girls Clubs of Mississippi are learning facts about animal care, abuse and neglect, and learning how to identify and curb bullying to animals (and people) - “If you see something say something.”
- The campaign has held vigils at courthouses the evening of cruelty cases alerting the public to the need for changes in laws and to encourage the dire need for action when an animal is harmed.
- On at least an every-other-week basis the campaign deploys a news release on a cruelty case to keep the public informed and amplify awareness among decision makers and to force legislative change.
All that In Defense of Animals has done over the years and all that we must continue to do is made possible by your support. We all want the same result and you can be certain In Defense of Animals will never stop championing the needs of our fellow animals.