International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR) was chartered in 1959, over a half-century ago. Its sole mission was to use law, legislation, and education to promote animal rights and animal law, domestically and internationally.
To support that mission, ISAR continues to protect animals with major emphasis on our legislative, legal and educational programs.
Enacting Legal Protection for Animals Worldwide
ISAR’s model statutes are valuable to lawmakers not only in the United States, but also around the globe. A recent example is action taken by the Congress of the Republic of Peru.
Introduced in the Congress of the Republic of Peru in early 2020, the law calls for mandatory spaying and neutering of dogs and cats to reduce overpopulation, as a public health policy. The proposed legislation would also require local governments to provide low-cost sterilization services to pet owners.
Article 2 d) of the proposed bill, in translated English states:
Its purpose is to achieve the highest level of protection and welfare of pets, whatever their circumstances. The sterilization of animals and their responsible buying, breeding, and selling, as fundamental pillars to avoid overpopulation and abandonment. “The International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR), postulates mandatory sterilization regulations.” ISAR Model Mandatory Sterilization Statute
ISAR’s Legislative Efforts in the United States
Earlier this year, ISAR was encouraged to see cities and municipalities in the United States introducing and enacting legislation to protect animals.
For example, in an effort to reduce the strain on the public animal shelter and reduce the rampant pet overpopulation problem in Natchez, Mississippi, local government officials considered legislation that required residents to spay/neuter their pets.
To assist them in drafting their ordinance, ISAR provided the members of the Board of Alderman with our Model Mandatory Spay/Neuter Statute.
ISAR’s model statute requires the spaying and neutering of all dogs and cats regardless of source and would dramatically reduce the number of unwanted dogs and cats who, through no fault of their own, have an adverse impact on the public health, safety, welfare, and environment.
In the Fall of 2019, the city of Waco, Texas proposed legislation to ban the retail sale of pets.
ISAR was pleased to provide the city council of Waco, Texas with our Model Statute Prohibiting Retail Sales
of Dogs and Cats to guide them in drafting an ordinance that would prohibit pet store sales of dogs and cats sourced from puppy and kitten mills while allowing stores to offer dogs and cats that come from animal shelters or an animal welfare group.
Additionally, in early January, ISAR posted our “Don’t Breed or Buy While Homeless Animals’ Die” billboard in downtown Waco, just blocks from city council headquarters in the weeks leading up to a vote on the legislation.
The ordinance banning the retail sales of cats and dogs was enacted in January of 2020.
ISAR’s SEEDS Awards Honor Individuals and Non-Profit Entities for their Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Animal Law
ISAR’s long-standing chairman, Professor Henry Mark Holzer, was the first Animal Law lawyer in the United States. His efforts in planting seeds, is acknowledged as having fostered the Animal Law movement that exists today in this country and elsewhere in the world. The seeds he planted in the 1970’s took root and grew.
As the Animal Law movement continues its steady growth, ISAR created its SEEDS Awards to honor individuals and not-for-profit entities who have made exceptional contributions to the important and burgeoning field of Animal Law. ISAR has presented SEEDS Awards to attorneys, law professors and animal law organizations located in the United States and abroad.
Many SEEDS Award recipients have expressed their gratitude to Professor Holzer for his pioneering work in inspiring a new generation of Animal Law attorneys.
International Society for Animal Rights/Alice Herrington Memorial Scholarship
In our Summer 2019 Newsletter, ISAR announced that due to the success of the first ISAR, Lewis & Clark scholarship, we offered an additional Animal Law LL.M scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year. The International Society for Animal Rights/Alice Herrington Memorial Scholarship—appropriately named for the late Alice Herrington, like the late Helen Jones another pioneer of the animal rights movement—was awarded to an outstanding candidate, Chilean Attorney Diego Plaza.
We are pleased to announce that Mr. Plaza completed his LL.M studies at Lewis & Clark Law School in May where he graduated with honors and received the Cornelius Honor Society distinction for his leadership and academic excellence.
Since returning home to Chile, Attorney Plaza founded the Center for Chilean Animal Law Studies CEDA Chile (Centro de Estudios de Derecho Animal CEDA Chile in Spanish), the first center specialized in Chilean animal law and is working on several legal research-based projects. In addition to the Animal Law center, he has been invited as a guest lecturer in animal law courses taught by Chilean universities and is collaborating on international animal projects.
Mr. Plaza acknowledges his gratitude to ISAR stating:
I think it is enough for you to get a sense of the tremendous impact that your aid is having — and will have
— on non-human animals. For me, the possibility of having studied at Lewis & Clark and CALS was a turning point in my professional, intellectual and philosophical development, and none of this would have been possible without your help, your vision, and of course, all the work that you have developed for years.
I think it is impossible for me to find the proper words of appreciation to express what I feel. ISAR will always be an important part of my life and I hope to be a rightful successor to your work and legacy. I hope that one day I will be able to do the same for others, and in this way contribute to the improvement of the relationship between human and non-human animals, from the field of law and from other fields of action.
ISAR is proud to have played an important role in advancing animal law, and the interests of animals through the legal system in Chile.
International Homeless Animals’ Day® 2020 (IHAD®)
ISAR’s International Homeless Animals’ Day was commemorated for the 29th consecutive year on Saturday, August 15th.
Hundreds of observances took place throughout the United States and in 37 countries spanning six continents.
Around the world on International Homeless Animals’ Day, animal protection organizations, veterinarians, local celebrities, community associations, elected officials and others joined ISAR to shed light on the overwhelming tragedy of dog and cat overpopulation and the solution: spay/neuter and adoption.
ISAR’s annual International Homeless Animals’ Day spay/neuter grants provided financial support to not-for- profit entities participating in the Day with a free or low-cost spay and neuter clinic.
As a direct result of International Homeless Animals’ Day countless shelter animals have found permanent loving homes, and thousands of pets are now spayed and neutered. All saving millions of animals’ lives.
The 30th annual International Homeless Animals’ Day will be observed on Saturday, August 21, 2021.
ISAR’s Billboards Broadcast the Spay/Neuter Message
During the year, ISAR saturated the outdoor advertising market with eleven different visually attractive eye- catching poster designs broadcasting the spay and neuter message, in both English and Spanish.
ISAR’s spay/neuter billboards have been posted in multiple U.S. states including Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
Tens of thousands of motorists, pedestrians, and owners of companion animals, have viewed our billboards that prominently display ISAR’s phone number, resulting in countless calls to ISAR requesting information on local low- cost spay/neuter programs.
ISAR’s outdoor advertising program has been an effective means of spreading the spay/neuter message, and hopefully, reducing pet overpopulation and euthanasia across the country.
ISAR and “Animals Today” Radio
Since 2009, ISAR has been the principal consistent sponsor of Animals Today Radio because we believe that a serious nationwide (indeed, international) program addressing important contemporary animal issues is a moral imperative.
Now in its 12th year of broadcasts, Animals Today Radio explores a wide range of issues concerning all animals, including those in agriculture and the wild, while promoting increased respect, compassion and kindness toward them.
As we enter 2021, ISAR will continue to advance animal law education by supporting LL.M scholarships, and addressing the many issues that flow from overpopulation.
We extend to ISAR’s supporters a heartfelt seasonal thanks. Together, with your continued help we will vigorously pursue our mission to advance the interest of all animals.
Susan Dapsis, President