The Coastal Star

Paws Up for Pets: Lawyer making dogged effort to rescue, protect animals

Delray Beach lawyer Mindy Farber, with rescue dogs Cara, Nicky and Abbey,

advocates for nonprofits, veterans, women, minorities and homeless pets.

Photo provided

By Arden Moore

    There are people who champion the cause for pets by fostering rescues, volunteering in animal shelters, organizing pet events and bringing their well-mannered therapy pets into nursing homes and schools.
    I applaud the contributions made by all of these people. And, I admire a special breed of pet advocate: the legal beagles. These people are committed to working with local, state and national lawmakers to make this a better planet for cats, dogs and other companion animals.
    In Delray Beach, there is a very active legal beagle: attorney Mindy Farber. In practice for more than three decades, she specializes in civil rights law for nonprofits, veterans, women, minorities and homeless pets.
    She splits her time between residences in Delray Beach and Maryland with her husband and their three well-traveled rescue dogs: Cara, Nicky and Abbey. She serves on the board for the nonprofit Pet Connect Rescue (petconnectrescue.org) in Potomac, Md.
    Farber worked with state legislators in Maryland to pass a bill recently that prohibits the sale of animals in pet stores. She is currently working with the state’s House Judiciary committee to get a bill passed that would require people found guilty of animal cruelty to not only serve time in prison but also pay restitution toward the financing of any bills related to injuring or killing animals.
    Locally, she is hard at work on finding a solution to address homeless, abandoned animals found on the streets of Delray Beach. Two days after Christmas, she was shopping in downtown Delray Beach when she came across a very weak, mange-filled, little red dog.
    “When I found this dog, I called the city immediately and said, ‘Help! There is a dog who is struggling here, just lying on the street,’” recalls Farber. “This dog was dying and I was frantic to find a way to get her medical attention, but was told that the city of Delray Beach does not have an animal control officer and was told to call the county. Well, I tried, but the phone kept ringing busy.”
    During this time, Farber called out to passersby for help but to no avail.
    “This dog had ooze pouring out of her ears and eyes,” she says. “While my husband took our three dogs home, I called out to everyone for assistance — bikers, drivers, joggers, walkers and people with baby carriages. But all averted their eyes.”
    Fortunately, members of Dezzy’s Second Chance Rescue were nearby setting up their booth for rescued dogs to be adopted. One member assisted Farber by placing the sick dog in a van and taking it to a veterinary clinic where the dog received life-saving treatment. The dog has not yet been adopted. The plight of this dog has motivated Farber to lobby with the Delray Beach City Commission. She wants to find a way to allow a nonprofit animal organization to have use of the vacant animal shelter building for a yearly rent of $1.
    Farber, who has lived in Delray Beach for a decade, is quick to say she is not critical of the city. “I’m looking for a way that a nonprofit animal group can do a much-needed government service that the government currently cannot provide,” she says.
    I reached out to city officials regarding Farber’s proposal. Commissioner Mitch Katz explained that the city is doing a complete inventory of all city-owned buildings, including those that are vacant.
    “We will not be making a decision on any building until the analysis is done, which should be within a month or so,” says Katz, adding that he wants more information on how such an arrangement between the city and a nonprofit group would be set up.
    In an email reply, Vice Mayor Shelly Petrolia wrote, “I would be in support of the city offering a building to temporarily shelter animals by a nonprofit … as long as it received a majority commission vote. I would only agree to consider something like this following an inventory and evaluation of all properties owned by the city, which is currently in the process.”
    In the meantime, Farber is maintaining her advocacy efforts for companion animals in need, both here and in Maryland.
    “As a lawyer, I’ve worked hard for many years and never took very many vacations,” she says. “I am blessed in many ways and now I want to give back and to use my legal skills to advance issues, like helping homeless animals.”
    She is definitely my kind of legal beagle.

Arden Moore, founder of FourLeggedLife.com, is an animal behavior consultant, editor, author, professional speaker and master     certified pet first aid instructor. Each week, she hosts the popular Oh Behave! show on PetLifeRadio.com. Learn more by visiting fourleggedlife.com.

Win an Arden book!

    Got a pet? In celebration of the release of my newest pet books, I am giving away a personalized, autographed copy of Fit Cat and Fit Dog to a couple of readers of The Coastal Star. How? Easy. Simply email me (Arden@fourleggedlife.com) and tell me, in 100 words or fewer, how your dog or your cat has made your life better. And, if you like, attach a photo. We will pick a cat and a dog winner and share the results in the June issue.

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Comment by Jeannette Tompkins on June 18, 2015 at 2:30pm

Geoffrey,  I think this is the month when Chaz checks himself into rehab.  This occurs, I believe every 2-3 months.  David Willard is probably taking some class on how to conduct himself properly in the General Public.  That's the rumor around town. Nice and quiet without Mutt and Jeff.  Meanwhile animals are still stuck in that cramped store front.  No mention of these animals anywhere. Poof, they just disappeared. Not on Petfinder, not on any Facebook page anywhere.  Just vanished off the face of this Earth.  

Comment by Geoffrey Whitten on June 17, 2015 at 9:47am

uhmmmm Must be a clog in the Pipe. My email only has bills,  request for quotes, and what is happening around town, along with the normal friend email and invites.  (Notice the use of the Oxford comma)  It appears everyone has agreed "Bygones"   Thank Satan as someone might say.

Comment by Geoffrey Whitten on June 14, 2015 at 10:15pm

Comment by Joan Ellis on June 14, 2015 at 8:31pm

Thank you for your concern about the dogs. Because after all it is about the animals. Actually we are ALL Foster based. All dogs have a yard to play in and are in a true home setting. All fosters have had home checks and vet references checked. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to ask.

Comment by Joan Ellis on June 14, 2015 at 8:15pm

Again no answers to any of the questions. Just comments to re-direct.  Sabrina must be correct.

Comment by Chaz Stevens on June 14, 2015 at 8:08pm

You want to troll, so let me show you how it's done...

Comment by Chaz Stevens on June 14, 2015 at 8:07pm

Looks like the non profit rescue is being run out of a rental mailbox place do they stuff the dogs into the mailboxes? This is animal abuse someone call code like Darcy

Comment by Joan Ellis on June 14, 2015 at 5:28pm

oh and Chaz  dog did not die in my care....

Comment by Joan Ellis on June 14, 2015 at 5:23pm

Yes a dog died because it was born with what was thought to be hydrocephalus and three huge open fonts. The pup was dumped by a BYB because they could not make any money on it. We took the pup to see if she might have a chance to survive, unfortunately as she grew her hydrocephalus got worse. He head grew to heavy for her to hold up. We made the difficult decision to euthanize her before she suffered. I will be pleased to get you copies of the vet's notes and bill if you would like. However, NO DONATIONS were used for this puppy. Just my own funds.

Perhaps Sandra could do the same. Answer questions  instead of going around and around and around like you state.

Comment by Sabrina Lane on June 14, 2015 at 5:19pm

Chaz, I noticed that you are now commenting about Joan Ellis who is also not part of the rescue that is the subject of this blog.  Why do you continue to attack people who are not part of the rescue instead of responding to the comments made about the rescue.  Since I don't know you I don't know if the reason you are not providing facts about the rescue is because (1) you don't work with/for the rescue and don't know the answers or (2) the people who are posting comments about the rescue are posting the truth so you are trying to deflect the conversation from their concerns.  Wouldn't it be more productive to focus the blog on the rescue so that everyone knows the truth and if there are problems with the rescue people can work together to fix the problems so that the animals get the best possible care and find homes?

 

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