Mo the tiger stares at the camera

PETA rescued Mo from Tiger King villain Joe Exotic’s compound.

The PETA Foundation directs its legal resources toward enforcing and advancing animal protection and animal rights via lawsuits, regulatory and law-enforcement complaints, legislative campaigns, shareholder proposals, and support for investigative and other types of activist work.

These undertakings often take the form of strategic impact work on behalf of clients who are seeking redress for injuries that implicate animal welfare and rights, such as under the First Amendment and other constitutional provisions, the Endangered Species Act (ESA), consumer protection laws, public records laws, and other legal principles.

PETA Foundation lawyers are often recognized by courts and others for important and groundbreaking victories for animals and the field of animal law.

The accomplishments of PETA Foundation lawyers include the following:

  • Securing the release of 697 animals from roadside zoos, breeders, private owners, and traveling shows around the U.S. since 2012, including by coordinating PETA’s largest rescue, in which 72 animals were removed from one of the worst roadside zoos in America in 2022
  • Holding animal experimenters accountable to the public, which funds their activities, including by winning court decisions that impose major penalties on some of the most notorious animal testing facilities in the U.S. and making it more difficult for the industry to hide from public oversight
  • Securing victories in court against almost all the roadside zoo operators featured on the popular Netflix series Tiger King
  • Asiatic black bears Sally and Suzie behind a caged fence at Tri-State Zoological Park roadside zoo
    PETA Foundation lawyers coordinated the rescue of 72 animals, including Asiatic black bears Sally and Suzie, from one of the worst roadside zoos in America.

  • PETA Foundation lawyers helped the government save hundreds of animals from notorious Tiger King villain Jeff Lowe—and then won a landmark ESA case against him.

  • Setting precedent that humane washing in the advertising of animal-derived products, such as depictions of animals frolicking outdoors on product packaging, can create liability under consumer protection laws
  • Virtually eliminating the disreputable and harmful cub-petting industry, including by securing precedent-setting court decisions that establish that cub-petting events—and practices that support the industry, such as the separation of newborn cubs from their mothers and declawing—can violate the ESA
  • Making clear that animal advocacy—such as in government-run advertising spaces or other media and in protests—will be subject to the same protections against viewpoint discrimination as other forms of free expression

“PETA Foundation” is the d/b/a designation for the Foundation to Support Animal Protection. The group is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity and public charity and provides legal and other services to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. (“PETA”) and other entities as a section 509(a)(3) supporting organization. PETA Foundation lawyers frequently represent PETA as well as other entities and individuals. Through its commitment to animal law, the PETA Foundation continuously makes significant strides in protecting and advancing the rights of animals.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind