Thursday, May 1, 2014

Animal Advocates Convene in Atlanta for National Conference

Atlanta– Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. is teaming with the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and the Animal Legal Defense Fund to honor the good works of animal advocates with the inaugural ‘Animal Defender’ Award. The awards will be presented during the 4th Annual National Animal Cruelty Prosecution Conference being held in Atlanta next week.

The conference brings together an extraordinary group of experts and practitioners including law enforcement personnel, veterinarians, rescue groups and prosecutors. The goal of the conference is to create partnerships and strengthen strategies to enhance animal cruelty prosecutions nationwide. During opening day of the three day conference, District Attorney Howard, who serves on the Board of the APA, will present awards to several deserving individuals and organizations that have dedicated themselves to animal advocacy.

The honorees include:

Victoria Stilwell Internationally renowned television host and animal advocate. Host of the Animal Planet show “It’s Me or the Dog,” Stilwell is an author and celebrated animal trainer. Much of her advocacy and philanthropic work is conducted through her self-titled organization The Stilwell Foundation, which offers financial support and canine behavior advice to local, national and international shelters.

Ahimsa House A resource agency that houses pets from individuals who are fleeing domestic violence environments. Ahimsa house is the only shelter of its kind in the state of Georgia and recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. They provide food, shelter, medical resources and legal counseling for their clients.

LifeLine Animal Project A non-profit agency employed by Fulton and Dekalb County Governments to manage their respective animal shelters. Lifeline has decreased euthanasia rates and increased adoption and rescue referral rates. The organization also offers free to low-cost vaccinations and spay-neuter vouchers. They also offer family counseling and community education and awareness campaigns centered on responsible pet ownership.

Travis and Corey Fox (K9 Lakota) The authors of draft legislation known as Lakota’s Law inspired by a traumatic accident involving retired Clayton County Police Officer Travis Fox and his canine partner Lakota. Fox and his wife Corey made national and social media news headlines as they fought to have medical bills covered for the canine officer following his accident. They are now fighting for legislation that would safeguard other service animals injured in the line of duty.

The Animal Cruelty conference will run from Monday May 5, 2014 through Wednesday May 7, 2014. The conference is being hosted by the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia (PAC) at the State Bar of Georgia Headquarters in Atlanta located at 104 Marietta Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303.

Media interested in covering the awards presentation which begins at 11:45 a.m. should contact the Fulton County Office of Public Affairs at 404-612-0560 or

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