The State Bar of Michigan Animal Law Section announces the winners of Brandi, Sadie, and Wanda A. Nash Awards for 2008.
Annise K. Maguire is the recipient of the Wanda A. Nash Award, presented to a law student in the state devoted to animal law. Now in her second year of studies at the University of Michigan Law School after a year at Tulane University Law School, Maguire was involved in dog rescue efforts in New Orleans. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, she was part of a legal team that worked on a lawsuit against city officials to prevent and redress the unnecessary euthanization of companion animals left behind by evacuees.
State Representatives Steve Bieda (D-Warren), Pam Byrnes (D-Lyndon Township), and John Espinoza (D-Croswell) are the winners of the Brandi Award for outstanding contributions in the area of animal law. Reps. Byrnes and Espinoza introduced three measures in Lansing revising the state's animal neglect and cruelty statutes. Gov. Jennifer Granholm has signed two of the bills; the third awaits action in the Senate. Rep. Bieda has introduced bills that would allow animals to be included in personal protection orders, and would also call for additional penalties for animal cruelty committed in instances of domestic violence.
The winner of the Sadie Award, given to a person outside of the legal community who makes an outstanding contribution to the betterment of animals, is Melissa Rosenberg, a Grand Rapids woman who worked with her landlord, local officials, and attorneys gain access to a vacant apartment to rescue a cat that had been abandoned by its owner after moving out. Rosenberg's efforts saved the malnourished cat, which was nursed back to health and has since been adopted.