Rinehardt Law - October 2019

SMALL TOWN VALUES BIG CITY RESULTS Rinehardt Law | www.rinehardtlawfirm.com | 419-LAW-2020

OCTOBER 2019

MY LOVE FOR ANIMALS Giving a Voice to Those Who Don’t Have One G rowing up in rural Ohio, I found myself cultivating a love for animals at an early age. A true around the country. The ALDF looks for opportunities to bring litigation that advances the state of the law for animals and addresses animal welfare

and it’s a popular drop-off destination for unwanted pets. While it’s not always easy to take care of them, these animals don’t have anywhere else to go. Both my children have been subjected to the animal-centric life I’ve built, and they’ve taken to parts of it. My youngest is even part of the Junior Naturalist program at the bird sanctuary. themselves, it was only natural for me to also represent people whose voices weren’t being heard. Part of what drew me to working with animals in the first place was the feeling that if I didn’t speak up for them, no one else would. They don’t have a voice — it’s up to us to make sure their interests are heard. are in a situation where no one else is looking out for them. Our objective is to give them a voice and see that their rights are protected. We also want to see them return to the way their life was before they came to us. Whether they went through an incident at work, an auto collision, or medical negligence, we speak up for them when no one else will. From my start in the legal field helping animals that couldn’t speak for The work we do at Rinehardt Law is very much the same. We work with folks who

farm girl, I was surrounded by fields and farm animals, including horses, cows, sheep, cats, and everything in between. Years later, going through college and into the legal field, I became interested in international law and the areas that pertain to animals and endangered species. I signed up for as many courses as I could relating to animal welfare and protecting species that couldn’t speak for themselves. My childhood passion was still strong. After law school, in addition to my full- time job representing the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, I also got involved with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, an organization that handles cases all

issues. I volunteered to be on a list of Ohio attorneys who would handle these types of cases in our state. Early in my legal career, I was called in to consult on cases in regard to animals and animal welfare. More recently, I’ve become a member of the Animal Law Committee as part of the Ohio State Bar Association. I also volunteer with the Ohio Bird Sanctuary here in Mansfield, and the work I do there is close to my heart. In terms of my personal life, I’ve always taken in animals that don’t have another place to go. If I have a vacancy, I’ll take them in. For the last four years, we’ve

had a Labrador-border collie mix living with us as a rescue. I’m taking her through a training program in hopes of getting her certified to do therapy work at hospitals and nursing homes. And although I’m allergic, I currently have several cats —mostly because they keep showing up. We live in the country,

–Melanie S. Fahey

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