Summer 2020 Newsletter

i August 4, 2020

Dear Friends,

ISAR recognized the role of law and lawyers in the fight for Animal Rights decades ago. Long before animal law was taught in law schools, before practicing lawyers held animal law conferences and litigated animal rights cases in courts. 

The origin and development of the animal law movement began in the 1970’s with ISAR’s long-time chairman, Professor Henry Mark Holzer.  Professor Holzer established his place as the first animal rights lawyer when he brought a constitutional challenge against a religious exemption to the federal Humane Slaughter Act. The federal case is entitled Jones, et al. v. Butz (374 F.Supp. 1284, D.C.N.Y. 1974). 

Throughout the ensuing years, on behalf of ISAR he has drafted state and federal animal protection legislation, counseled animal rights/welfare organizations on legal topics, developed widely distributed reports on animal legal issues, filed amicus curiae (“friend-of-the-court’) legal briefs on behalf of animals, and together with ISAR organized the seminal “First National Conference on Animal Rights Law” in 1981.

The Animal Law Seeds that ISAR and Professor Holzer planted years ago continue to grow. The interest of lawyers, law schools, and the legal profession in Animal Law has burgeoned in both academia and in legal practice.

ISAR remains a vital force in spearheading the future of Animal Law.  ISAR’s multilingual website with a special section devoted entirely to the extensive collection of Professor Holzer’s Animal Law material is of significant value to those seeking legal rights for animals.  It includes landmark lawsuits and legislation that is often cited in animal law textbooks, periodicals, scholarly articles, as well as numerous library references.  Our Animal Law material is utilized not only by academic institutions, but law firms and government municipalities throughout the United States and abroad that are involved in enacting animal law legislation.


ISAR will organize and facilitate International Homeless Animals’ Day for the twenty-ninth consecutive year on Saturday, August 15, 2020

Conceived and commemorated by ISAR in 1992, International Homeless Animals’ Day (IHAD) is the first and only worldwide event focusing on the dog and cat overpopulation problem and urgent need for affordable spay/neuter and adoption programs.

Always observed on the third Saturday in August, on International Homeless Animals’ Day animal protection organizations, animal advocates, shelter personnel, humane officers, veterinarians, local celebrities, business owners, community associations, police officers, governors, mayors, and others from around the world, joined forces with ISAR to shed light on the overwhelming tragedy of dog and cat overpopulation and the solution: spay/neuter and adoption.

To date, ISAR’s IHAD observances have been celebrated in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, in over 50 countries, and on 6 continents.

IHAD is often marked with candlelight vigils, blessing of the animals ceremonies, spay/neuter clinics, adopt-a-thons, animal shelter open houses, microchip clinics, and much more.

This year observances will look a little different due to the pandemic. Many participants are planning virtual events in their local communities to celebrate the Day.  

If you are interested in participating in International Homeless Animals’ Day and would like to receive an IHAD planning packet that includes press releases, colorful posters, ISAR’s proclamations, and much more please contact ISAR by mail, phone, or email.

All confirmed 2020 IHAD events will be promoted to thousands of people on ISAR’s website: and on ISAR’s online communities such as Facebook and Twitter.


ISAR is once again offering our virtual vigil on our website, ISAR’s computer-generated vigil allows visitors to light virtual candles online in memory or in honor of a loved animal, thus expressing the importance of spaying/neutering and adopting from animal shelters and rescues.  ISAR’s online vigil also provides visitors with the option to personalize their virtual candle with photos of their pets.


Since 2009, ISAR has been the principal consistent sponsor of “Animals Today” 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 covers and explores a wide range of topics and issues concerning all animals, including animals in agriculture and in the wild, while promoting increased respect, compassion and kindness toward them.

Dr. Lori Kirshner,  founder and President of Advancing the Interest of Animals (AIA) along with husband and producer Dr. Peter Spiegel, interview animal protectors and rescuers, legislators and lawyers, filmmakers and authors from around the globe about the latest animal topics and issues. Commentary, news and more lighthearted features round out this fast-paced and thought-provoking show.

Animals Today syndication partner, RadioAmerica, airs the weekly show in scores of radio markets nationwide.  

Podcasts of shows are posted on Animals Today Radio’s website within 24 hours of airing and the page features archived shows.

For some serious talk about animals and to hear what actions listeners can take to help animals locally, nationally, and around the world, please listen to, learn from, and support Animals Today Radio!

ISAR will continue to fight for the rights of animals and work for the day when dog and cat overpopulation is a distant memory—as we have for decades past.

Thank you for supporting our worldwide efforts to bring about positive change for all animals.


Susan Dapsis
ISAR President