Letter to Northwestern Law School and Alumni Association
March 3, 2008
RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERS OF THE WESTERN STATES
P.O. Box 1406 Newport, WA 99156
Web Site http://www.povn.com/rdows E-mail US email@example.com
Blog https://rdows.wordpress.com E-mail List http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rdows
Cherie Graves, Chairwoman, WA, (509) 447-2821
Judy Schreiber, Assistant to the Chair, Director at Large, GA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Pensgard, Executive Secretary, Illinois Director, email@example.com
Hermine Stover, Media Liaison, Director at Large, CA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Schaeffer, Finance Director, email@example.com
Arizona Director, John Bowen, firstname.lastname@example.org
California Director, Jan Dykema, email@example.com
Indiana Director, Charles Coffman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Iowa Director, Leisa Boysen, email@example.com
Mississippi Director, Dan Crutchfield, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nevada Director, Ken Sondej, email@example.com
Ohio Director, Tiffany Skotnicky, firstname.lastname@example.org
Oklahoma Director, Jade Harris, email@example.com
Tennessee Director, Gina Cotton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas Director, Alvin Crow, email@example.com
1800 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
Over the past few years I have received several letters from the Northwestern Alumni Association requesting donations. This has on more than one occasion made me feel extremely guilty. You see I love Northwestern and had always wanted to give back as much as the institution had given me. Over the years, however, I have come to realize that not all gifts need be monetary ones, and that while I can’t write NU a substantial check or offer you any kind of endowment, my occupation may be as much a payback as any you’ll find in check form. You see I have the great privilege of belonging to or running organizations (Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States, Responsible Dog Owners Group of Illinois) that protect not only the ownership and use rights of pet owners, but the constitutional rights of Illinoisans and indeed all Americans. It is an honor to belong to or helm these organizations and to be able to give back to my community, my state, my nation, and via this letter, hopefully Northwestern.
Feeling as I do about my alma mater and given my occupation, you can understand then how I felt when I read in several articles that Northwestern Law School was in receipt of a grant from former game show host Bob Barker which allowed for the establishment of animal law courses at NU Law. Mr. Barker, you are undoubtedly aware, was instrumental in getting mandatory spay/neuter legislation through the California assembly last year that, with few exceptions, would have required dogs and cats 6 months of age and older in California to be spayed or neutered. The bill, AB1634, called the “California Healthy Pets Act,” or the “Pet Extinction Act” by those in the know, thankfully did not have enough support in the California Senate. Mr. Barker was also involved in getting Los Angeles’ recent mandatory spay/neuter ordinance passed.
The problem with these and other animal rights-sponsored laws, besides the fact that they are overly intrusive to the point of governmental nannying, is that they are unconstitutional and adversely affect property and other fundamental, inalienable rights. Worse, instructing law school students to write, lobby for, and defend laws like mandatory spay/neuter and guardianship law is tantamount to teaching Socialism (and perhaps even Communism) on an academic level since these laws forcefully and illegally take people’s property and use rights and offer them up to the collective. History has shown that when property rights are usurped, fascism cannot be too far behind.
The animal law curriculum has never been about animal rights or even animal welfare and the laws that result from the animal rights movement were only ever about the systematic erosion of constitutional rights; rights which good men and women fought and died to defend. How can Northwestern now embrace the very threat to our Constitution and sovereign that the Holocaust survivor I interviewed for my senior thesis so vehemently warned against??? This woman, whose entire family perished in Auschwitz, told me never to forget how the Holocaust happened. The Holocaust happened when fundamental rights like life, liberty, and property were eroded or outright negated and there weren’t enough people to stand up in protest. It should come as no surprise then that the animal rights movement, which also erodes or outright negates fundamental constitutional rights, got its start in Nazi Germany.
I love Northwestern but I love the Constitution more. I just never thought I’d see the day when my alma mater would force me to choose between the two.
Elizabeth Pensgard (Class of ’97)
President, Responsible Dog Owners Group of Illinois
Illinois Director and Executive Secretary, Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States
cc: Northwestern University School of Law