Spring 2020 Newsletter

i April 11, 2020

Dear Friends,

Over a half-century ago, ISAR was instrumental in introducing the concept of animal rights into public discourse in the United States, principally by focusing on legislation and 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.

As the Animal Law movement continues its steady growth, ISAR has 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.

ISAR’s Mandatory Dog and Cat Spay/Neuter Statute Utilized in Peru Legislation

ISAR’s model statutes are useful not only in the United States, but also around the globe.  A current example is recent action taken by the Congress of the Republic of Peru, the unicameral body that exercises legislative power in Peru. 

Congressman Alberto de Belaunde and Congresswoman Marisa Glave have introduced legislation for the control of zoonoses1 that calls for mandatory spaying and neutering of dogs and cats, rather than poisoning and slaughter. Bill number 04697/2019-CR, introduced in late 2019 for the Parliamentary Period 2016 – 2021, 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

The bill states that the vast majority of dogs and cats in Peru are in a condition of overpopulation, generating public health risks, unnecessary suffering and perpetuating a culture of neglect and violence towards them.

1Zoonoses are any disease or infection that can be transmitted to humans from animals.

ISAR’s Legislative Efforts in the United States

It’s encouraging to see cities and municipalities throughout the United States introducing and enacting legislation to protect animals.

For example, the city council of Natchez, Mississippi is considering legislation that would require residents to have their pets spayed/neutered in an effort to reduce the rampant pet overpopulation problem in their community.  The ordinance is intended to lessen the strain on the public animal shelter and decrease the number of puppy mill and those who breed dogs specifically for the purpose of fighting known as dog fighting breeders.

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.  

The proposed ordinance 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. To assist them in drafting legislation, ISAR provided members of the city council with our Model Statute Prohibiting Retail Sales of Dogs and Cats. 

ISAR’s billboard posted on Austin Avenue, Waco, TX

Additionally, 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 and following a vote on the legislation.

The ordinance was enacted in January of 2020.

ISAR’s Billboards Broadcast the Spay/Neuter Message

It was over 25 years ago that ISAR posted its first spay/neuter billboard, with photo images of a dog and kitten along with ISAR’s powerful slogan: “America’s Dogs & Cats are DYING for YOU to be responsible.  Spay/Neuter it stops the killing.”  

Today, ISAR has saturated the outdoor advertising market with eleven visually attractive eye-catching poster designs broadcasting the spay and neuter message, in both English and Spanish.

ISAR’s spay/neuter billboards in action!
Top photo Greenville, NC – Bottom photo Mesa, AZ.

Viewed daily by thousands of motorists, residents, visitors and owners of companion animals, our billboards prominently display ISAR’s phone number, resulting in numerous 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.  

I’m pleased to report that in the last seven months, ISAR’s spay/neuter billboards have posted in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia.  With more postings occurring throughout the year.

ISAR’s 29th annual International Homeless Animals’ Day® will be observed on Saturday, August 15, 2020

Around the globe on International Homeless Animals’ Day, animal protection organizations, veterinarians, local celebrities, community associations, elected officials and others will join forces with ISAR to shed light on the overwhelming tragedy of dog and cat overpopulation and the solution: spay/neuter and adoption.

We hope that you can be part of this annual event, celebrated each year on the third Saturday in August.

There are a variety of ways to participate: Pet adoptions; spay/neuter; microchip/vaccination clinics; educational events; candlelight vigils; blessing of the animals’ ceremonies; award ceremonies; marches; speeches by public officials, celebrities, local veterinarians and humane workers. All this information, and much more, is available in our free IHAD-2020 Planning Packet which interested parties may request by contacting ISAR by mail, phone, fax or email.

ISAR’s International Homeless Animals’ Day has been the first and only worldwide event focusing on the dog and cat overpopulation problem and urgent need for spay/neuter and adoption programs.

For the past quarter-century, ISAR’s International Homeless Animals’ Day has continued to gain momentum in the fight against dog and cat overpopulation with events in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and in over 50 countries on 6 continents.

All registered IHAD events will be promoted to countless people on ISAR’s website, and social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

ISAR is most grateful to you, our dedicated supporters. Your commitment and financial support to ISAR greatly helps us to effectively bring about long-lasting positive change for animals.


Susan Dapsis

ISAR President