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Event Highlights Laws Surrounding Pets Displaced By Natural Disaster

March 16, 2010

The Earle Mack School of Law Student Animal Legal Defense Fund sponsored a documentary screening and discussion on March 16 that explored legal and ethical complications that emerge when natural disasters separate pets from their owners.

The event started with Philadelphia’s premiere screening of MINE, an award-winning 2009 documentary 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 screening was followed by a panel discussion featuring:

  • Joseph Bednarik, counsel with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, who discussed Evacuation Planning for Animals
  • Barbara J. Gislason, founder of the American Bar Association/Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section’s Animal Law Committee and author of the “Model Act Governing Standards for the Care and Disposition of Disaster Animals,” which was endorsed by the ABA House of Delegates in February
  • Philip G. Kircher, a member of Cozen O'Connor, who discussed his experience defending a local owner of a Katrina dog sued by the original New Orleans owner
  • Trina, a four-legged survivor of Hurricane Katrina