February 20, 2020
JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow has been named one of “American’s Top Ten Animal Defenders” by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through our legal system. The ALDF is supported by more than 250,000 members nationwide.
Each year, the ALDF recognizes officials who have done outstanding work to make their communities safer for animals during its National Justice for Animals Week – which this year takes place from February 23 through 29.
“I am honored to receive this significant award from the groundbreaking Animal Legal Defense Fund, a leading nationwide nonprofit that each and every day advocates on behalf of animals and protects them from cruelty and abuse,” Glasgow said. “All too often, our animal cruelty laws fail to recognize that animals, like humans, are sentient beings – capable of experiencing pain, stress, and fear. Our animal cruelty laws need to be retooled with this in mind. We need to be able to intervene when animals are suffering, even though they may be able to stoically endure and survive. I look forward to amending our current statutes on animal abuse and cruelty to make that possible.”
According to Glasgow, investigating and prosecuting animal abuse and neglect helps humans as well as animal companions.
“As St. Francis of Assisi recognized more than 900 years ago, those who would deny any creature the shelter of pity and compassion would do likewise to fellow humans. These words were remarkable given that they were made during one of the most violent times in human history, and they remain true today, “Glasgow said.
According to Glasgow, “[t]he link between abuse to animals and violence against humans is undisputed. Addressing animal abuse many times leads to uncovering situations involving abuse or neglect of individuals in that home. Protecting animals helps to protect all of us. That is one reason I formed the League of Extraordinary Canines & Friends – a countywide initiative designed to combat animal cruelty and abuse through advocacy, communications, cooperative efforts with animal humane and rescue organizations, the specialized animal protection unit in the State’s Attorney’s office, the law enforcement community, and all local units of government.”
In choosing Glasgow to receive the national award, the ALDF stated that “[a]nimal victims of abuse cannot speak for themselves, so caring individuals in the criminal justice system must speak up for them. Founding the League of Extraordinary Canines & Friends in 2019 is but one example of your effective compassion and dedication to recognizing and addressing animal abuse crimes in your community.”
In addition to establishing the League of Extraordinary Canines & Friends to address animal abuse, Glasgow:
- Established an Animal Protection Unit in the State’s Attorney’s office to work with our law enforcement community on prosecuting animal abuse and neglect cases.
- Wrote Illinois’ 1999 Animal Torture Statute creating the State’s first criminal felony charge for animal cruelty, and in light of the strong link between cruelty to animals and violence against humans, mandating a psychiatric evaluation upon conviction to diagnose and treat propensity for violence against humans.
- Annually hosts an ASPCA seminar, as well as additional community forums, to educate our community about the critical importance of recognizing and reporting animal cruelty and abuse.
Glasgow was presented the award at the February 20, 2020, Will County Board meeting. County Board Member Herbert Brooks and Terri Crotty, Founder and Owner of Wags 2 Wishes Rescue, offered remarks before presenting the plaque to Glasgow on behalf of the ALDF.
The ALDF’s National Justice for Animals Week is dedicated to raising awareness about animal abuse and urging law enforcement, prosecutors, and lawmakers to protect our animals and our communities from abusers. The theme for this year’s National Justice for Animal Week is “Fighting Animal Cruelty, Honoring Animal Victims.”