Another Attorney Notices AR Behavior in Public?!

Another attorney, a family law guy in CA,  who is not in the least combative from what we can see, agrees that ARs go way over the top. And he probably has never even heard of the word “AR” (animal rights zealot) but he surely recognized one when he saw it?  all emphasis added by PD.

 Here is what he wrote:

Is It Illegal to Leave a Dog Unattended in Your Car in California?

Is It Against the Law to Leave My Dog Locked in My Car –

A Lesson in Mindfulness and the Law?

So, its my Blog and I can rant if I want to?

If you’ve visited our Enlightened Divorce Blog over the years you may have bumped into my posts about Jake, my former beloved Jack Russell, and Jasmine – another Jack who is now the puppy love of my life. I am devoted to those people and animals that I care about and can protect, and would never knowingly put them in harm’s way. I’d wager this is true for you too. Our relationships with our animal dependents mirror our relationship with others, and ourselves.

Many, if not most, other people feel and respond similarly with respect to honoring our obligations to the beings entrusted to their care. We can only wish that when that time arises for us, others will similarly honor their responsibilities. Unfortunately, this social contract is, particularly in divorce when conflict escalates, often a tragic karmic loop. Break the parental contract with your child, for instance, and and reap the consequences and unleash them on society too. Fail to water your dog or cat, and they will die. Beat them and they will attack your neighbor. Likewise, the experience and choices of people in divorce is just one facet of the 10,000 jewels that add up to the quality of our lives and what we bequeath. And, pointers show up in the smallest things.

Some months ago I stopped at a 7-Eleven, together with Jasmine. It was probably 85 degrees here in Palm Springs that day, and I opened the sun-roof, and the windows. Unsuspecting as I exited the car, I was approached by a gentleman who insisted that it was AGAINST THE LAW to leave my dog in my car, even for a moment. He offered to call the police if I disagreed, and came way too close to us.

I kept my mouth mostly shut, leashed Jazzie and took her in the store with me. For awhile afterwards I replayed the exchange (sound familiar?), with stories of how it might have gone differently. Some were more enlightened than others. I understood that leaving a dog, or a baby, could become a recipe for heartbreak, disaster or worse and on that level the point the fellow made was valid.

Today I watched a similar ambush unfold between another ‘good Samaritan’ and a dog owner. What triggered the memories of my own experience was the level of hostility from a self-appointed law enforcement civilian towards the guy who’d left his dog in the car while he evidently went grocery shopping (a long list, a short list? I dunno). He informed the dog owner that it is AGAINST THE LAW IN CALIFORNIA!!! to leave his dog in the car. The dog-owner was obviously embarrassed, and responded that he was sorry, from Canada, and didn’t know – he tried to back away from the exchange quickly.

I thought I might as well help clarify the rules relating to leaving dogs in cars. California Penal Code section 597.7, entitled “Unlawful leaving of an animal in an unattended motor vehicle”, subsection (a) states:

“No person shall leave or confine an animal in any unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal.”

Violation of that statute is a misdemeanor, subjecting the violator up to six months in jail and/or a $500 fine.

Leaving your dog in the car after the sun is down and air temps are low, as was this situation, does not appear to be a crime. However, that does not make it a good idea, I confess. Good judgment is required.

A number of Municipal Codes – including the Palm Springs Municipal Code (“PSMC”) – have a zero tolerance towards leaving pets unattended in an “enclosed” vehicle (probably including the cities he knew). PSMC section 10.22.020. Essentially, however, the City can only impound the animal, within a police or animal control officer’s discretion. You will not be arrested.

While people do incredibly stupid things all the time involving those creatures they are charged with protecting and it may be appropriate for us to point that out to others in proper situations (or intervene in much stronger ways if life and safety truly are at risk), this world needs more equanimity – even on the small stuff. We will be far more effective expressing our concerns with balance, rather than taking on the role of policeman in our dealings with each other, at the grocery store and on the streets.

Unfortunately, the behaviors I am describing are but a tiny reflection of a larger malaise in our society, in these times. Our entire nation would do well to consider that having a perspective about every other nation’s or people’s behavior does not make our views helpful or useful for our own interests. The microcosm of our day-to-day interactions tracks and reflects back the larger picture and circumstances.

As it relates to divorce, co-parenting, and moving on in the land of relationship-end, there are lessons that might be generalized from this minor story about how we approach each other, out there in the world. Worth a thought? In the meantime, much can be achieved when we convey our concerns in ways that don’t raise the hackles of others.

Author: Thurman W. Arnold, III


First–may we say  many thanks for so gently writing about something which Thurman (the attorney) likely does not really know much about, but for which we know way, way too much…

Now, as at least one of our own contributing attorneys does do family law as well, and it is true, that when we consider that animals are not people and that some people treat their animals better than they treat people— you begin to understand why people don’t get along.  For example:

3 Simi Valley girls aged 1 to 5 were hospitalized with heat-related issues Monday after their mother left them inside her locked car to seek assistance for an ill pet, police said.

The girls, ages 1, 3 and 5, were treated at Simi Valley Hospital and later released to a relative, Simi Valley police Cmdr. Stephanie Shannon said. The youngest girl was most affected by the heat, but responded well to treatment, Shannon added.

She was concerned for the dog’s welfare and subsequently chose to leave her children in the car according to  Simi Valley police Cmdr. Stephanie Shannon….
The girls’ mother, Amanda Woodruff, was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to police.  Woodruff, 28, had driven to a veterinary hospital in the 1700 block of Los Angeles Avenue about 3:40 p.m. seeking help for a sick dog, Shannon said.

Woodruff then allegedly left the girls inside the locked car for at least 20 minutes while she went inside the hospital — windows rolled up and the engine off.

“She was concerned for the dog’s welfare and subsequently chose to leave her children in the car,” Shannon said.

While inside the hospital, she apparently got involved in a loud argument with the staff, drawing the attention of neighboring business owners who called police.

As officers spoke to Woodruff, they noticed she appeared to be impaired by drugs or alcohol, Shannon said. When Woodruff took the officers to her car, they found her daughters, who were “showing signs of heat distress,” according to police. The girls were rushed to a local hospital. Child Protective Services officials were also notified.


When ARs out there insist on stamping their APPROVAL strike that — their own biased opinions and standards as the God-given right-to-be-the-animal wardens-of-the-century... we have to remember, many of the ARs are not Bible believers, but they only pick and choose from the Old Testament (cut that guy’s eyes out or burn up that guy who tortured a dog, for example) or make that animal owner pay (pay meaning go to jail for 20 years for having a substandard kennel) or having all the animals seized because a water bucket was not clean enough (and then having all seized animals sold to some non profit to make $$$ while admin judge says he didn’t see any animal abuse….)….

These types of actions, which further enable ARs who are constantly on the LOOKOUT for alleged abuse, alleged selling, alleged showing for purposes of selling, alleged pet store sales that are illegal—it never stops. In fact it reminds us of the wars in the Middle East that were obviously meant to NEVER stop due to the history, length of time, and overzealous nature of the entire scenario.

And then we can see why people+the government,  have called the ARs the terrorists, because that in fact, is the scheme/method ARs choose to use. Zealotry in all fashion, in all advertising, in all actions.  And their worst crime is JUDGING OTHERS by their own AR standards, often quite unreasonable.

Well–that’s a hulluva lot of Judging for people who don’t even believe you should kill animals for food!!      PETA KILLS



———————————— Just in case you didn’t know–PETA routinely kills almost everything they claim to take in..and people who used to work there explained it, they fudge the records on how much kill solution is used, so if they claim they got some animals “out”, there is likely no proof they actually did. However, HSUS is by far, the greater enemy because HSUS makes LAWS, whereas PETA has zero credibility and Ingrid admits, to use PETA to try and pass legislation is the kiss of death. Hence, HSUS and its often free (pro bono) attorney team do the work with help from attorneys from DC and California. Of course, HSUS+ASPCA paying out on the RICO allegations in circus case (millions paid out)– did not help the 2 giant non profits, despite them having the funds to pay.


Note: in the law profession, it is the duty for attorneys to zealously represent their clients’ interests. See below for example:


—- >>  Let’s make it simple as an example. If Michael Vick killed and tortured dogs in his past criminal actions involving dog fighting charges (which he admitted)– should Michael Vick obtain an attorney paid for by HSUS, ASPCA , PETA or any other AR group —-  because they begged him to let them pay for his lawyers??  (*this is just an example, we have no idea who represented Vick for the Federal charges; however, he got off light compared to others with no money.)

Michael Vick likely knew absolutely nothing about AR groups until HSUS recruited him as poster boy former dog fighter now turned into the Saint and yes, Vick should own dogs according to WP of HSUS. Further, Vick should then be back into the NFL and yes, WP of HSUS wanted to help him.

After all, WP of HSUS fame claimed that ALL  the Vick dogs should be killed, and the rest of the ARs wanted them ALL to be saved (except PETA), so it cost about $2,000,000 to have them “saved” by going to Best Friends in Utah. Some rehabbed, but some not.  YES, Best Friends got paid about that much. To untrain generic pitbulls supposedly. // {Note: a true, genetically bred fighting dog with little or no breeding into the line, to lessen the dog-dog aggressive trait, cannot really be changed. Some dogs will be more aggressive than others but unless steps were taken to cull some dog-dog aggression, a true actual fighting canine is just that. It doesn’t like other canines including bitches. It cannot be left with other canines. Most of Vick’s dogs supposedly were rehabilitated, which indicates most of them likely were not winning fights. Vick was killing his dogs that were losing.} Many rescues wait until after bulls are over 2yr old to determine the dog-dog aggressiveness level which may not appear earlier. //

Then AR groups became famous for saving  Vick dogs, and then WP of HSUS sort of hires or appoints  Vick as spokesperson to “underprivileged” black+minority kids?  What is so very wrong, wrong, wrong with that picture?  The worst part is– did Vick  even know he was being used as the token black guy in our opinion….there are no black AR zealots for the most part that we know of…. Maybe he didn’t care because it beats being in federal prison. Other defendants back in the South,  have been handed sentences like 103 years for dogfighting charges in State Court???

======================================================One will note below, that even the Committee has disagreement with whether or not such representation would be prudent or allowed:

Rules of Professional Conduct and Ethical Considerations:

In rendering this opinion, the Committee has been guided by the following California Rules of Professional Conduct and by American Bar Association Code of Professional Responsibility, Disciplinary Rules (“DR”) and Ethical Considerations (“EC”):

Rule 5-102(B) of the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar provides:

“A member of the State Bar shall not represent conflicting interests, except with the written consent of all parties concerned.”

American Bar Assocation Code of Professional Responsibility, canon 5 states:

“A lawyer should exercise independent professional judgment on behalf of a client.”

Ethical Considerations under canon 5 provide:

EC 5-1 The professional judgment of a lawyer should be exercised, within the bounds of the law, solely for the benefit of his client and free of compromising influences and loyalties. Neither his personal interests, the interests of other clients nor the desires of third persons should be permitted to dilute his loyalty to his client.”

EC 5-2 A lawyer should not accept proffered employment if his personal interests or desires will, or there is a resonable probability that they will, affect adversely the advice to be given or services to be rendered the prospective client.”

EC 5-21 The obligation of a lawyer to exercise professional judgment solely on behalf of his client requires that he disregard the desires of others that might impair his free judgment. The desires of a third person will seldom adversely affect a lawyer unless that person is in a position to exert strong economic, political or social pressures upon the lawyer. These influences are often subtle, and a lawyer must be alert to their existence. A lawyer subjected to outside pressures should make full disclosure of them to his client; and if he or his client believes that the effectiveness of his representation has been or will be impaired thereby, the lawyer should take proper steps to withdraw from representation of his client.”

American Bar Association Code of Professional Responsibility, Disciplinary Rule 5-107 specifically deals with the acceptance of legal fees from other than a client:

“DR 5-107 Avoiding Influence by Others Than the Client.

“(A) Except with the consent of his client after full disclosure a lawyer shall not:

“(1) Accept compensation for his legal services from one other than his client.

“(B) A lawyer shall not permit a person who recommends, employs or pays him to render legal services to another to direct or regulate his professional judgment in rendering such legal services.”

The American Bar Association Standards Relating to the Prosecution Function and the Defense Function, Defense Function Standard 3.5(c), is particularly relevant in this regard:

“(C) In accepting payment of fees by one person for the defense of another, a lawyer should be careful to determine that he will not be confronted with a conflict of loyalty since his entire loyalty is due the accused. When the fee is paid or guaranteed by a person other than the accused, there should be an explicit understanding that the lawyer’s entire loyalty is to the accused who is his client and that the person who pays the fee has no control of the case.”

(See also State Bar Committee on Prof. Responsibility and Conduct, opn. No. 1970-22 and L.A. Co. Bar Assn. Committee on Legal Ethics, informal opn. No. 1964-1.

American Bar Association Code of Professional Responsibility, canon 7 provides:

“A lawyer should represent a client zealously within the bounds of the law.”

American Bar Association Code of Professional Responsibility, Disciplinary Rule 7-101, embodies this ethical rule:

“DR 7-101 Representing a Client Zealously.

“(A) A lawyer shall not intentionally:

“(1) Fail to seek the lawful objectives of his client through reasonably available means permitted by law…”

The hypotheticals below can all be seen at the link for this :

First Hypothetical

With respect to the first hypothetical situation, the Committee is of the opinion that, because of the potential conflict of interest between the superior and the subordinate and the divided loyalty which may result because of the source of the lawyer’s compensation, the representation of the subordinate would be proper only if the lawyer first obtains the informed written consent of the client (i.e., the subordinate), and only after a complete disclosure and explanation of the potential conflicts of interest. (Rule 5-102(B), Rules Prof. Conduct.)

The lawyer has the further duty to notify the superior, preferably in writing (through the superior’s attorney, if he is represented by separate counsel), that the lawyer’s loyalty and responsibility will be only to the subordinate, that under no circumstances will the client’s interests be sacrificed in favor of the superior (notwithstanding that the superior is the source of the fee), and that in the representation of the subordinate the best interests of the client may require the lawyer to attempt to persuade the subordinate to cooperate with the prosecution. (ABA Standards, Defense Function, Std. 3.5(c).)

This notice to the superior will no doubt foreclose representation of the subordinate since it is unlikely that the superior would be willing to pay for legal services which could result in a threat to the superior’s position. But unless the representation of the subordinate is conditioned upon (1) the client first being fully informed of the conflict of interest and thereafter giving written consent to the attorney being compensated by the superior and (2) the superior being notified that the superior will have no control over the lawyer’s conduct of the case, the lawyer may not properly undertake the representation of the subordinate.

A lawyer, under no circumstances, should so encumber the representation of a client with promises to a third person, expressed or implied, which would impair the lawyer’s ability to zealously represent the client with undivided loyalty. (ABA Code of Prof. Responsibility, DR 7-101(A)(l), EC 7-1.)

Second Hypothetical

In the second hypothetical situation, the propriety of the representation of the subordinate by the lawyer must be conditioned upon the lawyer first obtaining the client’s informed written consent after the same full disclosure and explanation of the potential conflict of interest and divided loyalty as required in the first hypothetical situation. The lawyer also has the duty, if the lawyer is to be compensated by the client’s superior, who may be a co-defendant, to give the same notice in the same manner to the superior as set forth in the first situation. In addition, the superior should be notified that, in the representation of the subordinate, the best defense may not only require that the lawyer attempt to persuade the client to cooperate with the prosecution, but also that it may require the lawyer to vigorously cross-examine the superior.

Such notice to the superior, as in the first situation, undoubtedly will foreclose the lawyer’s representation of the subordinate. It is unlikely that the superior, particularly if the superior is or may be a co-defendant, as hypothesized in the second instance, would be willing to pay for legal services to be rendered to the subordinate which might result in a weakening of the superior’s legal position.

The Client’s Consent

In both hypothetical situations, the validity of the client’s consent (even though given after full disclosure by the lawyer) and the lawyer’s tacit approval of the methods used to obtain the consent (which consent results from the subordinate’s contemplation of the consequences of his refusal to consent) need be considered. It is axiomatic that even informed consent is meaningless unless freely given. The coercion, whether financial or, possibly, even physical, implicit in the offer to pay legal expenses in exchange for surrender of the option to cooperate with the prosecution, could be so persuasive as to preclude the subordinate’s exercise of free choice. As discussed above, it is the lawyer’s duty to evaluate whether or not the surrender of the subordinate’s option to cooperate with the prosecution impairs the lawyer’s ability to defend the subordinate.

The logical extension of this contention is that an attorney who would accept employment under the hypothetical situations presented would impliedly be condoning coercive influence and engaging in ethically improper conduct.


In conclusion, the key to this problem is complete disclosure and a professional assessment by the lawyer that the financial arrangement and the agreement of the subordinate not to cooperate with the prosecution will not impair the effectiveness of the subordinate’s representation. The Committee does not believe that under the hypothesized facts the lawyer will be able to conscientiously state to the subordinate (the client), or that the lawyer can sincerely believe, that the lawyer will be able to zealously assert all available defenses.

It is, therefore, the opinion of this Committee that under such circumstances representation of the subordinate may not properly be undertaken in either of the hypothetical situations presented.

This opinion is issued by the Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct of The State Bar of California. It is advisory only. It is not binding upon the courts, The State Bar of California, its Board of Governors, any persons or tribunals charged with regulatory responsibilities, or any member of the State Bar.


To the extent that the opinion of the Committee concludes (1) that under the hypothesized facts it would be a virtual impossibility for the subordinate to knowingly and voluntarily consent to agree to waive his right to cooperate with the prosecution, and (2) that the lawyer will subordinate his loyalty to his client to the paramount interests of the superior, we dissent.

Whether the agreement of the subordinate to refuse to cooperate with the prosecution is given because of his loyalty to the superior, his desire to protect others who may be involved, or for any other reason which he deems valid, it is solely for the subordinate to make that decision. If, after being fully advised by the lawyer of the possible consequences of his decision (and the lawyer being satisfied of the subordinate’s knowing and intelligent understanding thereof), then, if the subordinate wishes the lawyer to defend him, we are of the opinion that acceptance by the lawyer of such employment will not violate American Bar Association Code of Professional Responsibility, Disciplinary Rule 5-107.

The subordinate’s decision not to cooperate with the prosecution should not, in and of itself, prevent him from having the benefit of the lawyer’s services at no cost.

It is not improper for an attorney to perform legal services for one party at the request of, and with the compensation paid by, a third party, provided that the client approves of this procedure and the client’s confidences will be preserved. (ABA Committee on Ethics and Prof. Responsibility, informal decision No. 679 (1963).)

It is not the duty of the lawyer to evaluate the reasons for the subordinate’s agreement to waive his right to cooperate with the prosecution. It should not be incumbent upon the lawyer to refuse to accept employment which, in effect, will force the subordinate either to pay for his own defense, accept court-appointed counsel, or conduct his own defense.

Therefore, we are of the opinion that, given the informed written consents of the persons between whom there are or may be conflicting interests, the ability of a lawyer to effectively and thoroughly conduct the subordinate’s defense with undiluted loyalty, and the subordinate’s complete understanding of the possible consequences of his refusal to cooperate with the prosecution, the lawyer should and may properly undertake the defense of the subordinate.