Justice Legacy Society

The Animal Legal Defense Fund honors supporters who have created their animal protection legacy, by welcoming them into the Justice Legacy Society. You can become a part of this special group by including a gift in your will or trust, by beneficiary designation, or by establishing a charitable gift annuity or other estate gift. We would be pleased to include your name among other Justice Legacy Society donors in the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s print and digital publications or you can choose to be anonymous.

As a member of the Justice Legacy Society you will receive:

  • Invitations and special access to Animal Legal Defense Fund events, webinars and teleconferences to meet Animal Legal Defense Fund attorneys and get behind-the-scenes insight into our work
  • Recognition in our Annual Report
  • Insider updates on our legal work
  • An opportunity to share your story to inspire other animal lovers

Justice lies at the heart of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. We use the law in all its capabilities, to protect individual animals and to advance the interests of all animals – whether they are wildlife, farmed animals, or the companion animals who share our homes. We believe that justice embodies our legacy society and its members — individuals who want to make fundamental and long-lasting change for animals. The law is one of the most powerful tools we have in our society to fight animal cruelty. Using the law, we can change the system so that over time we reduce or eliminate the root causes of injustice and animal cruelty. Our Justice Legacy Society members are critical to helping us realize this long-term goal.

Justice is also, fittingly, the name of one of the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s clients. In 2018, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a groundbreaking lawsuit on behalf of an 8-year-old horse, named Justice. He had suffered immense cruelty and neglect at the hands of his abuser, who had denied Justice adequate food and shelter for months, abandoning him to starve and freeze. As a result of this neglect Justice was emaciated, 300 pounds underweight and afflicted with frostbite, lice, rain rot and other painful injuries. When discovered, he could barely walk. Fortunately, Justice was rescued and transferred to a safe and loving sanctuary, though sadly he will suffer from permanent injuries for the rest of his life.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s fight for Justice is legally very significant because we named Justice as the plaintiff in our lawsuit against his abuser. Under U.S. law, animals are designated as “property”. Naming Justice as a plaintiff in his lawsuit reflected his true status as a sentient being who can endure suffering, and who deserved to be treated humanely. The Animal Legal Defense Fund strives in all of our work to elevate the status of animals beyond mere property, so that they are recognized as feeling beings with interests that must be protected. The Justice Legacy Society honors Justice the horse and all of the animals who deserve the protections that his fight represents.

Since 1979 the Animal Legal Defense Fund has battled on behalf of animals, in our courts and more recently in our legislatures — all with the help of our devoted supporters, who share our passion to help animals. We have secured seminal victories and progress along the way. In 1981 we stopped the US Navy from killing wild burros, and in 1989 we stopped bear hunts in California. In 1995 the Animal Legal Defense Fund helped defeat legislation that would have sent 148 chimpanzees to a research facility. In 1998 we established the right of animal advocates to challenge federal agencies’ treatment of animals — opening the door to future lawsuits that closed down roadside zoos and other animal-related facilities that the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspects. We drafted the legislation that Florida passed in 2005, outlawing cruel gestation crates for pigs at factory farms. And we are training the next generation of animal lawyers, with more than 200 Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapters at law schools in the United States.

These are only a few examples of our work. Making a planned gift to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, such as through a bequest in your will, would help us continue to make system-changing progress for animals. On behalf of all of our clients – and all the animals they represent across the United States - we thank all of our Justice Legacy Society members for sharing our vision.

To join, please get in touch with Animal Legal Defense Fund and we will respond back to provide you with all the information you need.