A successful Court Advocacy program that began in December 2000 trains community members to follow court cases involving animal abuse of all kinds and develops educational materials and information that promote understanding and effective intervention. Court Advocates appear in court on behalf of the community and the victims who are of all animal species, humans included. Participants also provide training and logistical support for situations involving animal neglect, abuse and fighting.
The existing program is a partnership of Safe Humane Chicago with community policing networks, police departments, county prosecutors and circuit courts. We are most active with our founding agencies, the Chicago Police Department, Cook County State's Attorney's Office and Cook County Circuit Court. We have trained more than 800 volunteers, followed hundreds of court cases, and positively impacted arrests, prosecutions, convictions and remedies. See the list of court cases we are currently following.
We also provide funding needed to provide evidence for ongoing cases. This includes transportation and accommodations for out-of-state witnesses and veterinary diagnostic laboratory services such as necropsies.