Annual Report 2017

i January 2, 2018

Season’s Greetings!

I’m pleased to extend to our friends and supporters my heartfelt gratitude for your support and commitment to ISAR. I invite you to remain engaged with us, enabling ISAR to move forward as a driving force for change, advocating for animal rights throughout the United States and across the globe.

Earlier this year, ISAR proudly announced that the Animal Rights Law Reporter- founded and edited by Professor Henry Mark Holzer, and published by International Society for Animal Rights – is now part of the online collection of the Animal Legal and Historical Center at Michigan State University College of Law, an excellent internet resource for lawyers, law students, and others seeking legal information about animal law and rights.

The Animal Rights Law Reporter, which became “the legal clearinghouse for animal rights law information” according to Joyce Tischler, founder of Animal Legal Defense Fund, was published quarterly from 1980 – 1983 and communicated developments in animal rights law, keeping its readers abreast of all current pending federal legislation which affected animal rights, as well as state legislation.

In the debut January 1980 issue of the Animal Rights Law Reporter, Professor Henry Mark Holzer commented:

“For this first issue, it seems most fitting to comment not so much on what appears, but on that it appears. No one reading the REPORTER needs to be told that, not long ago, the idea of animal rights law was viewed as absurd by all but a handful of people. Yet, in only the past few years, the idea has grown to the point where it is possible- indeed, necessary to publish this Animal Rights Law Reporter. Consider fully the significance of being able to publish information about animal rights law in !ega/literature, in legislatures, and in courts. About the availability of legal pleadings, briefs, mode/laws- all in the cause of legal rights for animals.

Quite beyond the content of any specific piece of information in this, the first issue of the Animal Rights Law Reporter, its real accomplishment is that it has come into being. Hopefully, its existence signals a new chapter in the struggle for animal rights through law.

As “the first animal rights lawyer,” some forty years ago Professor Henry Mark Holzer first articulated his vision of using the law on behalf of animals at the “First National Conference on Animal Rights Law,” organized and sponsored by ISAR and Professor Holzer in 1981.

A major result of the conference was to coalesce the attending lawyers into a loose network of like­ minded individuals, and to identify the tools necessary to create an entirely new, discrete field of law–one which would take its deserved place among other long-recognized practice areas such as corporate law, property law, criminal law and many others.

Over the past two decades, Professor Holzer’s vision has been almost fully realized. The seeds that ISAR and Professor Henry Mark Holzer planted have grown.

  • Today, courses in animal law are taught in virtually every major law school in America, usually using books expressly written for that subject.
  • Today, conferences are frequently held for lawyers practicing animal rights law.
  • Today, lawyers draft animal rights legislation, and lobby for their enactment.
  • Today, professional journals devoted solely to animal rights law are published.
  • Today, lawyers litigate animal rights cases in federal and state, and trial and appellate, courts throughout the United States.

ISAR is proud of how its seeds have flourished. From time to time we let our supporters know what new flowers have sprouted in today’s jurisprudentially recognized field of Animal Law. Please visit our website often to read more about the flourishing seeds of animal law.

International Homeless Animals’ Day-the ISAR conceived and coordinated annual event-is now not just an important event in the U.S., but internationally as well, underscoring the importance of spay/neuter and other ISAR programs addressing the scourge of dog and cat overpopulation.

In August 2017, ISAR marked the 26th consecutive year of International Homeless Animals’ Day, observed in more than 45 U.S. states and the District of Columbia and more than 25 countries. Over the past quarter-century, the event has brought together an increasing number of animal protection organizations and animal advocates on the third Saturday of August to raise awareness of the tragedy of pet overpopulation and the spay/neuter solution. Activities often included low-cost spay/neuter, vaccination and microchips clinics, as well as candlelight vigils; shelter adoption events; pet parades; educational information fairs and shelter open houses.

IHAD’s memorialization of the annual deaths of uncounted companion animals has grown into not only that day’s educational spay/neuter  programs, but also large-scale spay/neuter clinics. For example, as a result of ISAR’s generous grant, Red De Apoyo Canino was able to organize a 3-day spay and neutering campaign during August 19, 20 and 21 in Sucre State, Venezuela. ISAR provided another grant to SpayPanama  to assist with the sterilization of 200 cats in Panama City.

ISAR will next commemorate our 27th annual International Homeless Animals’ Day on August 18, 2018. Joining ISAR’s other efforts against dog and cat overpopulation, 2017 saw the introduction of ISAR’s

Spanish Language Spay/Neuter Program. The first component in our new campaign was to enlarge

our existing outdoor advertising program and budget by creating and then installing in selected venues throughout the U.S. custom-designed, eye-catching Spanish language billboards carrying ISAR’s companion animal overpopulation and spay/neuter solution messages, as well as prominently displaying ISAR’s phone number. The billboards have prompted numerous calls to ISAR requesting information on local low-cost spay/neuter programs. The billboards expand the overall program that, in 2017, saw more than 20 billboards installed along busy highways throughout 15 U.S. states.

Spanish language Public Service Announcements (PSA) are another element ofiSAR’s Spanish Language SpayIN euter Program. Sponsored by ISAR and Advancing the Interests of Animals, the PSA’s, which stress the important of spaying/neutering, are currently being heard on radio stations serving Spanish­ speaking audiences across the U.S.

And, as the Spanish Language Outreach Program continues to expand, ISAR has translated its mandatory Spay/Neuter and Microchipping statutes into Spanish. We hope animal rights activists- individuals and organizations alike in Spanish-speaking countries will use these to galvanize legislators into enacting laws that benefit dogs and cats.

ISAR made the difference (by making a sizable Kickstarter contribution) in helping fund “The Cat Rescuers,” a forthcoming professionally produced documentary that chronicles the story of four New York City activists. These volunteers have taken to the streets of Brooklyn to implement TNR (Trap­ Neuter-Return), a technique that, along with adoptions, helps control and reduce the population ofthe city’s countless abandoned feral cats. ISAR will continue our involvement as the film is finished and the distribution process moves forward.

In support of the pets affected by Hurricane Harvey, ISAR provided financial assistance to the Houston Humane Society to assist them in their efforts to rescue, and care for the animals impacted by the hurricane and the catastrophic flooding.

Animals -powerless and voiceless – have two committed and compassionate advocates in ISAR and Animals Today Radio. Since 2009, ISAR has been the principal sponsor of this radio program/podcast ( Hosted by Dr. Lori Kirshner, founder and President of Advancing the Interest of Animals, and featuring Dr. Peter Spiegel, “Animals Today” is an influential national voice that addresses a variety of contemporary animal-related topics with warmth, knowledge and a fierce love of all animals.

ISAR has spent 2017 advancing the rights of companion animals and educating the public about the cruel realities of pet overpopulation. We will steadfastly continue our mission in 2018, knowing that our efforts, made possible by your support, make a difference every day around the world.





Susan Dapsis, President