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Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel to Host Discussion on Pets Displaced by Natural Disaster

March 16, 2010

What: Natural disasters often separate pets from their owners. Others take them in and care for them while their original owners try to reclaim them. Who has the legal right to these displaced pets? The Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University will screen the documentary MINE and host a discussion on the topic.

MINE, an award-winning 2009 film that follows Hurricane Katrina survivors who tried to reclaim pets that had been rescued, taken to animal shelters around the U.S. and adopted by new owners. The 81-minute documentary chronicles the custody battles that arise when two families love the same pet. A small donation collected at the door will benefit the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti.

Who: Following the film, a panel of speakers will address issues raised in the film and this fascinating emerging area of the law:

--Joseph Bednarik, counsel with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, will speak on Evacuation Planning for Animals. --Barbara J. Gislason, founder of the American Bar Association/Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section’s Animal Law Committee, will discuss the “Model Act Governing Standards for the Care and Disposition of Disaster Animals,” which was endorsed by the ABA House of Delegates in February. The act is intended to provide certainty of ownership for disaster animals by providing an owner with a specific time frame by which the owner must reclaim companion animals. --Philip G. Kircher, a member of Cozen O'Connor, will discuss his experience defending a local owner of a Katrina dog sued by the original New Orleans owner. --Special guest “Katrina,” who found her way from New Orleans to a new home in Pennsylvania, will also appear.

When: Tuesday, March 16 at 5:30 p.m.

Where: Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel (Market Street, between 33rd and 34th Streets)

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News Media Contacts:

Sarah Greenblatt, communications manager, Earle Mack School of Law 215-571-4804 or sarah.e.greenblatt@drexel.edu

Niki Gianakaris, director, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell) or ngianakaris@drexel.edu

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