Section 1983 to the Rescue

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Complaining about inhumane conditions, abuses, or violations of law at shelters is a constitutionally protected right. As a volunteer, rescuer, or any other member of the public, you not only have the First Amendment right to speak out against abuses and violations of law committed by a government shelter, you have  a constitutionally protected right to demand that the government correct the wrongs that are identified.

You also have a right to take photos at the shelter. You have a right to take video. You can criticize them on social media. It is illegal for them to make you sign a non-disclosure agreement as a condition of volunteering. And it applies to private SPCAs and humane societies if they have an animal control contract.

The No Kill Advocacy Center has a new, fully revised guide to protecting the legal rights of rescuers and shelter volunteers. It includes a sample letter to public officials, FAQs, how to find an attorney, and more. As always, it is available for FREE.

To download “Section 1983 to the Rescue,” click here.


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