Advocate for Animals
The Lesniak Institute advocates for animal welfare, training the next generation of American Leaders to protect animals from cruelty and extinction.
Help us continue to advance animal welfare as The Lesniak Institute For American Leadership advocates for legislation to make New Jersey The Humane State and promote animal welfare across America and in every nation.
Help us continue to advance animal welfare by donating to our cause.
We are working to amend the Animal Welfare Act to restrict the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling performances.
The Traveling Exoctic Animals and Public Safety Protection Act ( TEAPSPA) is a federal law that has recently been introduced by New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez. This bill is to restrict the use of exoctic animals in traveling performances.This bill we reduce the tax fees on paying for the shipment and necessities for traveling animals. Representative Raul M. Griljavi is the current sponsor of the bill which is in the livestock and foreign agriculture committee.
This bill is being advocated for to stop the use of animals in circuses, carnivals, and parades. When animals travel they become expensive and to lessen that cost the people facilitating don't provide the proper living environments for these animals. The animals than begin to suffer from physical and emotional health issues that usually result in them dying of long lasting, pain enduring, diseases. To prevent this there will be an amendment to the Animal Welfare Act to restrict the use of exoctic animals in traveling.
Please Contact your House members to be co-sponsors of the Traveling Exotic Animals and Public Safety Information Act.
We are advocating to end the cruel practice of shark finning in NJ which has caused millions of preventable shark deaths.
The ban of shark finning, S2905/A4845, will prohibit certain possession, trade, distribution, or sale of shark fins in New Jersey. The bill’s prohibitions don’t apply to lawfully obtained shark fins used for scientific research or educational purposes. The bill allows commercial and recreational fishermen to possess shark fins only if they were obtained lawfully in a manner consistent with the fisherman’s license or permit. Anyone found in violation of this law will face penalties including fines, and possible revocation of their fishing license. On March 25th the current legislation banning shark finning passed the Senate (33-6). Unfortunately, Assembly Speaker Coughlin pulled the bill from receiving a vote.
Shark finning is the cruel practice of catching a shark, cutting off its fins, and dumping the shark back in the water to bleed to death. Approximately 100 million sharks are killed globally each year which leads to a ripple effect in their respective ecosystems. Due to their slow growth and low reproductive rates, some species of sharks are knocking on death’s final door.
The federal government has banned the practice of shark finning, but unfortunately there are still bad actors who remain in the business. To combat this, ten states have banned the sale of shark fins: Texas, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, California, Illinois, Maryland, Delaware, New York, and Massachusetts. You can help add New Jersey to this list.
Please email Speaker Craig Coughlin and respectfully convey your disappointment that the bill did not receive a vote and, most importantly, request that A4845 be voted upon at the next Assembly session.
We’re working to prevent the extinction of the New Jersey Black Bear population by ending bear hunting and implementing non-lethal methods of bear management.
Pedals’ Law, S2769/A2455, bans hunting and creates a nonlethal control program for black bears in New Jersey. It will require a five-year nonlethal black bear control program developed by licensed veterinarians, wildlife biologists, and other appropriate animal protection agencies. This plan will monitor the bear’s population including, birth rates, death rates, age, gender, distribution, home range, and movement. An analysis regarding the effectiveness of this plan will be presented to the responsible Governor and to the Legislature.
Black Bears are a crucial part of New Jersey’s natural heritage and serve as a vital component to healthy ecosystems across the state. Instead of allowing hunters to poach these creatures, Pedals’ Law will enact a way to create bear-smart policies to reduce bear and human interactions.
Pedals’ Law was named in honor of Pedals, an injured, docile New Jersey Black Bear, who was maliciously killed by a hunter.
Protection for Black Bears, known as S2769/A2455, is awaiting Senate and Assembly Committee action. The bill wasn’t posted for a vote despite it being moved out of the Senate Economic Growth and Agriculture Committee twice. To end the bear hunt now, contact your legislators and ask them to co-sponsor Pedals Law S2769/A2455.
We are working to shut down Puppy Mills doing business in New Jersey - those driven solely by greed and which care little about the welfare of the dogs and cats they sell - or the loving pet owners they sell them to.
Puppy Mills are large-scale commercial establishments that breed dogs to sell typically on an intensive basis and in inhumane conditions. Dogs and cats are bred without consideration of genetic quality producing dogs and cats with heredity defects. Legislation sponsored by Senator Lesniak banning Puppy Mills was vetoed by Governor Christie. Pending legislation will ban the sale of puppies and cats in New Jersey from puppy mills.
Puppy Mills put profit above the well-being of animals. Female dogs and cats are bred at every opportunity with little to no recovery time between litters. When the dog/cat is no longer able to produce offspring, it is usually euthanized. In one year, NJ will euthanize over 15,000 cats and dogs.
Animals sold at pet stores more often than not have serious psychological or health problems. Some of the many illnesses common to pet store puppies include zoonotic diseases which can be spread to other pets and humans. Banning Puppy Mills will significantly reduce the amount of sick, homeless, and euthanized dogs/cats in NJ.
New Jersey residents please sign this petition and urge your legislators to ban the retail sale of animals from puppy mills.
Desmond’s law will give a voice to abused animals by allowing law students and volunteer lawyers to serve as legal advocates for animals that are the victims of animal abuse.
Bill A4840/S3322 will allow law students and appointed representatives to be animal advocates in criminal cases regarding cruelty, dog fighting, and other welfare abuses. The representative will be permitted to monitor the case, attend hearings, consult individuals with knowledge of the welfare of the animal, view records regarding the animal’s welfare, and present their recommendations to prosecutors and the court regarding the best interest of the cat or dog.
Animals that are abused far too often do not receive justice and suffer more abuse by a legal system that overlooks animal abuse. The humans responsible for hurting these animals sometimes go without facing consequences for their actions. Because of this failure of the criminal justice system, humans who hurt animals are not required to do go through rehabilitation and often times reoffend. New Jersey's Desmond’s law will give law students an opportunity to be advocates for animals who have no voice in our criminal justice system.
Desmond’s Law A4840/S3322 has been introduced in the New Jersey Legislature. Please contact your legislators and urge them to support Desmond’s Law, A4840/S3322.
We’re working to ban pig gestation crates which create pain, fear, and stress to pigs--animals that form elaborate, cooperative social groups and feel pain, fear, and stress.
Banning Pig Gestation Crates would establish that confinement of a gestating sow is a disorderly persons offense. Cruel confinement is defined as tethering, confining, or creating a gestating sow in a manner that prevents her from turning around freely, laying down, standing up, or fully extending their limbs. The bill would ban farrowing crates which inhumanely separate a mother from her piglets. It will enforce that there is proper care and preparation for the sow ten days before she gives birth.
Confining pigs in gestation crates is extremely cruel. The 2-foot-wide cages are so narrow, the pigs cannot even stand up and turn around. They chew on the bars, wave their heads incessantly back and forth, or lie on the pavement in an apparent state of dejection. Nearly immobilized, they spend most of their lives denied the ability to walk.
The gestation crate ban, S161/A3752, is awaiting Senate and Assembly action. New Jersey residents, contact your legislators and urge them to pass S161/A3752 into law.