Allegheny Abused Animal Relief Fund: Getting Prosecutors and Allied Professionals Involved in the Care of Seized Animal Victims

Prosecuting an animal abuse case is often a complicated, difficult experience. The law is continually changing and emotions sometimes run high in the local community as the case proceeds through the criminal justice system. During this time, surviving animals remain very much in need of veterinary care and shelter or foster care, as well as positive socialization with human beings and animals. Recovery for abused animals is essential to successful completion of the case, but many states do not make provisions for such care.

AAARF! (Allegheny Abused Animal Relief Fund!) was conceived by ADA Deborah Jugan a decade ago to provide financial care for abused animals in Allegheny County, PA, animal cruelty cases. With the help of Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Jr. and Allegheny County Treasurer John Weinsten, AAARF! was created and thrived. A 501(c)(3) organization, AAARF! has raised well over a million dollars in funds dedicated for the care and recovery of abused animals in Allegheny County.

Learn how and why AAARF! was needed, the obstacles overcome in its creation, and how animal abuse prosecutors can establish an AAARF!-type fund in their own jurisdictions to ensure that the victims of animal abuse return to health and regain their rightful place as beloved and loyal pets.

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