Franky’s Law: A New Bill in Maine Could Give Abused Animals a Voice in Court

An animal welfare bill that was just introduced in Maine would better protect animals by giving them a voice in court, according to advocates of the measure. As CBS 13 News in Portland reports, the bill would let law students or volunteer lawyers work on animal abuse cases at no cost to the state.

It’s officially titled “An Act to Provide for Court Appointed Advocates for Justice in Animal Cruelty Cases,” but it's nicknamed “Franky’s Law” after a pug mix that was abducted, tortured, and killed last summer. Two men have been charged with that crime.

A public hearing on the bill took place this morning at the State House, and from there it will move to a committee work session. Jessica Rubin, an assistant clinical professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law, wrote in public testimony that the bill is modeled after a similar law in Connecticut. Desmond’s Law was passed in 2016, making Connecticut the first state to let court-appointed lawyers and law students intervene in animal cruelty cases.

Rubin said the law has not only provided justice to animals, but has also served as a positive learning experience for law students. “Students have enjoyed serving as advocates for two reasons—the work is gratifying and it provides them with in-court experience and training,” Rubin wrote in a letter supporting Franky’s Law. “Advocates typically collect information about a case by interviewing veterinarians and law enforcement personnel, conduct legal research, and then present recommendations to the courts regarding appropriate handling of the case.”

Desmond’s Law gets its namesake from a dog that was beaten and strangled by its owner, who entered a rehabilitation program instead of serving jail time. Advocates say the law ushered in stiffer penalties for those who commit such crimes, according to the New Haven Register.

“Since Desmond’s Law, we have seen a significant increase in jail time or probation with suspended sentences,” said Robin Cannamela, president of a volunteer animal welfare organization called Desmond’s Army.

Officials in New Jersey and New York are reportedly interested in similar legislation.

[h/t CBS 13 News]

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture


This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

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The Reason Your Dog Follows You Everywhere

Crew, Unsplash
Crew, Unsplash

Depending on your mood, a dog that follows you everywhere can be annoying or adorable. The behavior is also confusing if you're not an expert on pet behavior. So what is it about the canine companions in our lives that makes them stick by our sides at all times?

Most experts agree on a few different reasons why some dogs are clingy around their owners. One is their pack mentality. Dogs may have been domesticated thousands of years ago, but they still consider themselves to be part of a group like their wild ancestors. When there are no other dogs around, their human family becomes their pack. According to Reader's Digest, this genetic instinct is also what motivates dogs to watch you closely and seek out your physical touch.

The second reason for the behavior has to do with the bond between you and your pet. As veterinarian Dr. Rachel Barrack told the American Kennel Club, puppies as old as 6 months can imprint on their human owners like they would their own mothers. Even older dogs will bond with the humans in their lives who show them care and affection. In these cases, a dog will shadow its owner because it sees them as an object of trust and security.

The last possible explanation for why your dog follows you has more to do with your treatment of them than their natural instincts. A popular training tactic is positive reinforcement—i.e. rewarding a dog with treats, pets, and praise when they perform positive behaviors. The point is to help your dog associate good behaviors with rewards, but after a while, they may start to associate your presence with rewards as well. That means if your dog is following you, they may be looking for treats or attention.

A clingy dog may be annoying, but it usually isn't a sign of a larger problem. If anything, it means your dog sees you in a positive light. So enjoy the extra companionship, and don't be afraid to close the door behind when you need some alone time.