first_imgAnimal law in the classroom March 1, 2005 Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Regular News Animal law in the classroom Senior Editor Standing at the blackboard at Florida State University College of Law, Cindy McNeely teaches class holding a toy poodle in the crook of her arm.This isn’t just any dog. This isn’t just any class. And this isn’t just any teacher.The dog’s name is Hemi. Though his back legs are paralyzed from being hit by a car, and he has to wear a diaper, his eyes are alert and bright. If dogs can smile, Hemi is beaming.The class is Animal Law, where nine students are engrossed in a discussion about what rights, if any, animals have, and what their worth is to their human owners beyond market value as property.The teacher is adjunct professor McNeely — 1997-98 editor of the FSU Law Review, former clerk for First DCA Judge Marguerite Davis. Now practicing in a variety of legal areas with her husband Rob McNeely, she’s a mother, vegetarian, and animal lover on a mission to build a no-kill animal sanctuary.Student David Organes offers: “The more you contribute, the more rights you have, the more the law cares about you.”“How do you define contribution?” McNeely asks.“It’s usually defined by economics, and pets supposedly can’t give us anything,” Organes says. But he is quick to add that after reading one of the textbooks, Dog Law, he sees how companion animals really do give their owners a lot.McNeely tosses out: “Are animals like an old pair of slippers, that we can just discard?”That’s why McNeely had tucked Hemi into a ventilated bag and smuggled him into her classroom, where he scrambled around the floor propelled only by front paws, until he was picked up by a few students who cuddled him and fluffed his curly topknot.“I brought Hemi in to give the students a look at one of the animals that would have been killed in a regular shelter, or by most people, because he’s ‘damaged,’” McNeely said. “As I think all of us can see, Hemi is nonetheless a happy, content, not-suffering animal. He deserves a chance to live out his life.”For McNeely, the issue is beyond academic. She is on a spiritual mission to create a no-kill animal sanctuary in the Tallahassee area, because it breaks her heart that too many adoptable animals are routinely killed at the city’s shelter.“To manage animal populations through ‘putting them down’ just because it’s easier on the humans to get rid of them, and more cost efficient—that’s not euthanasia.,” McNeely said. “That’s killing.”Because of a series of fateful events, she is well on her way. It began in 2002, with a heart-wrenching, award-winning expose by the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper on the Tallahassee-Leon Community Animal Service Center, complete with graphic photos of piles of animals killed at the shelter. & #x201c;I’m the first person in my family to go to college, let alone law school. I had always been of the mind that if there is something that needs to be done, fix it. Don’t whine about it. Don’t complain. Educate yourself. Don’t leave it to others.”Already, McNeely had known about a no-kill animal sanctuary in Utah called Best Friends, an inspirational prototype.Disturbed over the sad state of affairs at the local animal shelter, late at night, with the kids in bed, McNeely was alone with her thoughts: “I am fortunate enough to be out of law school now, and I have some money coming in. I am going to write a letter to the editor offering to pay to send one shelter employee to the Best Friends conference held in Atlanta.”That letter prompted a like-minded soul, Barb Law, to e-mail McNeely, offering to do the same thing. Eventually, the two women decided not to try to transform the shelter’s philosophy, but to do something themselves.Law holds two full-time jobs as aquatics director of the Tallahassee Parks and Recreation Department, as well as a paramedic in Franklin County.“Barb does lots of rescuing, people and animals. Sometimes, she’ll have someone in the ambulance, and there will be an emaciated dog on the side of the road, and she’ll stop and get the dog,” she says with a grin.This pair of can-do women decided to create Extended Circle Animal Haven.Currently, they have a small three-acre sanctuary for 25 dogs and 20 cats south of Tallahassee. But a group of wealthy entrepreneurs—one whose son is dedicated to animal rescue efforts—heard of the effort and has purchased 2,700 acres west of town.“They are going to build our sanctuary on the property, and they are going to build environmentally sensitive green houses,” McNeely said, sitting in her law office, petting a black cat she calls “the office greeter.”“The development will be themed for companion animal people to all live together in harmony. And the sanctuary will be off on one part of the property. We’re so excited about it. I can’t begin to tell you.”Another volunteer the group has attracted is Kurt Moore, director of corporate research and development at FSU. He is helping Extended Circle create what he calls “an integrated fund-raising program,” which includes getting people to leave money in their wills.“One thing I can say about Cindy and Rob, as a professional fund-raiser, is that they are very organized. By being organized and smart and not trying to reinvent the wheel, they have come a long way in a short amount of time.”As McNeely says: “Lawyers can make things happen.”What she hopes to make happen in her Animal Law class is exposing students to an emerging area of substantive law.“There are definitely people who don’t take this that seriously,” McNeely said. “But you know what? When I was in law school, a lot of people pooh-poohed the women in law classes, like it wasn’t a real class.”It was FSU College of Law Associate Professor Phil Southerland who lured McNeely into co-teaching the first Animal Law class the 2004 spring semester. He remembered McNeely as a smart law student, had read about her efforts to establish the no-kill shelter, and thought she would be the ideal person to involve in a course he had long wanted FSU to embrace as part of its curriculum.“I had not done it, because I feel so passionately about animals and the environment and the way we treat those things,” Southerland said. “I thought I was too biased. I guess I read too much Dr. Doolittle when I was growing up. I think animals communicate and deserve the same treatment you would give human beings. I kept putting it off, but I got the bug last spring. Too many good schools have the course — at least 20, including Harvard. It’s definitely respectable.”McNeely believes so much in educating students about animal law that despite a budget crunch, she agreed to teach pro bono.After class ended, Organes, the second-year student who was very engaged in discussions, sat in a lounge. He said he signed up for McNeely’s class because “it was an opportunity to take a course that you aren’t exposed to every day.”Describing himself as “an animal lover, but not a bleeding heart animal lover,” he admits he is “too much of a carnivore” to give up eating meat. When he is a lawyer, he said he hopes to practice civil rights law. As long as there are still people suffering, he said, he will worry more about their human rights than animal rights.But he’s glad to take the class that has him thinking in new ways.And the lawyer who teaches with a dog nestled in the crook of her arm says with conviction: “You can look historically at whatever source you want to site—the Bible or different treatises written by learned scholars—who justify human rights. A lot of that applies to animals, too. It’s just a matter of whether we will be selfless enough to recognize and extend the rights to the animals. That’s the real question.” For more information on McNeely’s no-kill animal shelter project, go to www.extendedcircle.org.last_img read more

first_imgWith the gross domestic product growth rate currently at 2.1% and unemployment at 3.6%, economists and presidential election prognosticators are wondering if the economy, particularly the stock market, will continue to grow. Or, are we headed for a bubble that might burst, sending the economy into a tailspin?Indicators suggest there is room for further growth and a catastrophe is unlikely, at least not immediately. On the other hand, individual investors and the general public may not be feeling the love that has benefited big business. Here’s why:The top 10%, the wealthy, owned 81% of all stocks and only 54% of families owned stock, either directly or indirectly as part of a fund and/or 401K plan.There was a small correction of the stock market at the end of 2018 that led many investors to withdraw money from the market in early 2019. Because there was a quick recovery, many did not have the chance to get back in. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

first_img There had been speculation last week that Redknapp was close to losing his job, with the R’s down in 19th place in the Barclays Premier League and without a win in six games in all competitions. Manchester United won 2-0 at Loftus Road on Saturday to leave QPR in the relegation zone but Fernandes issued a statement backing Redknapp. Harry Redknapp will remain as QPR manager after chairman Tony Fernandes moved to rubbish reports he was set to sack the 67-year-old. “We know we need to improve our away form and Harry, his coaching staff and the squad will be doing all they can to turn around our fortunes on our travels. “It’s very tight in the table and we will do our best to strengthen where we can to give us the best possible chance. The fans have been brilliant all season and all I ask is that they continue to back Harry and the team.” When questioned about his future last week, Redknapp said he was being targeted by someone within the club who was looking to see him ousted from his position. The former Tottenham boss also insists he can only shop in the loan market during the January transfer window and has already signed Mauro Zarate until the end of the season from London rivals West Ham – although he did admit he is still looking for another striker to lighten the load on 13-goal man Charlie Austin. “I firmly believe Harry is the best man to get us out of the position we currently find ourselves in,” the statement read. “He has great experience and having spoken to him at length over the last week or so, he is determined to turn this around and help us maintain our Premier League status. “This is Harry’s squad of players, so he is the man to move us forward.” Redknapp took over at Loftus Road in November 2012 but was unable to steer QPR to safety – although he did guide them straight back into the Premier League through the play-offs last season. With the club back in the top flight, Redknapp was backed by Fernandes in the transfer market with large sums paid for Steven Caulker, Leroy Fer and Sandro. They joined the likes of Jordon Mutch and former England captain Rio Ferdinand in a strong-looking QPR squad – but they have struggled for results and form this season. All 10 away league games have ended in defeat but 19 points accrued at home mean Redknapp’s side are just one point behind Burnley in 17th spot and Fernandes is happy to support his manager for the time being. “The performance against Manchester United showed the players are behind him and that they have the stomach for the fight,” Fernandes added. Press Associationlast_img read more