CLE | Animal Abuse Court: Advocacy Training and Process

Thursday, April 27, 2017 | Noon to 2 p.m. | CNY Philanthropy Center | Second Floor Ballroom | 431 E. Fayette St. | Syracuse, NY 13202 |1.5 MCLE credits (Skills) | COST: Free to those willing to participate as a Volunteer Advocate or $30 Member, $45 Non-Member, $15 Paralegal, FREE Lifetime/Agency/Student | Under NYS rules this CLE has been approved for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys | Tuition waivers availableSince its creation in 2015, the Volunteer Advocate Lawyer for Animal Abuse Court (“VALAC”) has received attention from local media and animal advocates alike for its unique effort to assure animals in abusive situations receive justice and a warm home.

Animals removed from homes by law enforcement due to neglect or abuse are housed temporarily in shelters or in animal hospitals. During pending criminal cases, these pet owners maintain “ownership” rights even when they perhaps are unable to properly care for the animal.

VALAC volunteers assigned to these cases advocate on behalf of these animals by appearing in court and adding their expertise toward a resolution or termination of rights proceedings.

If you sign up to become a VALAC volunteer, you attend this CLE for free. You will hear how you can become a part of this important OCBA Section and affect change and a positive outcome for those among us who have no voice.

Presenters include:

  • Hon. Derrek Thomas, Syracuse City Court
  • Nicholas J. DeMartino, Esq., Green & Brenneck
  • Kerrin Conklin, CNY SPCA Director
  • Officer Rebecca Thompson, City of Syracuse Police Department
  • Chief Asst. District Attorney Alison Fineberg, ADA Anthony J. Johnston
  • Kerilyn Micale, Esq., Nicole Heath
  • Colleen Gibbons, SUCoL Student

Below, on the far left is Teddy…a year or so ago, before VALAC member Colleen Gibbons came to his aid, he was a too-thin pup in an unsafe environment. Now look at him, he’s healthy and has been placed in a safe, new home and making friends.


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