Austin Appellate Attorney Ryan Clinton Urges New View on Shelters at 2013 Animal Law Conference

Austin, Texas, appellate attorney Ryan Clinton of Hankinson LLP spoke on the need for change in the animal-sheltering process during the University of Washington School of Law's Animal Law Conference.

Appellate attorney Ryan Clinton of Austin, Texas, recently spoke at the University of Washington School of Law's 2013 Annual Animal Law Conference, telling attendees that the public needs to change the way it views the animal-sheltering process.

"The conventional wisdom that drives traditional animal-sheltering policy is both wrong and deadly, leading to the unnecessary killing of impounded dogs and cats in shelters across the country," Mr. Clinton told the crowd. "That needs to change."

Mr. Clinton delivered his presentation, "Down is Up and Up is Down," during the May 10 event held on the University of Washington campus. A former Texas Assistant Solicitor General who was recently named among the top 25 lawyers in the State of Texas under 40 by the Texas Lawyer newspaper, Mr. Clinton practices complex civil-appellate litigation with the Texas boutique Hankinson LLP.

"Conventional wisdom says there is no point in allowing kittens to live, no point in treating puppies with illnesses, and no point in giving a chance to frightened dogs because of the demonstrably incorrect, but fundamental belief that there are more impounded animals than there are Americans looking for pets each year," explains Mr. Clinton. "Our job, as animal lovers, is to demand that animal shelters actively compete in the marketplace for new pets. When they do, pets leave alive."

In 2005, Mr. Clinton founded to seek reforms at the City of Austin's municipal animal shelter. Six years later, the Austin shelter became the largest open-admission shelter in America to save more than 90 percent of all impounded animals.

Mr. Clinton is a frequent national speaker on animal-welfare policy and was named one of the top six animal-welfare leaders in America by the California-based No Kill Advocacy Center in 2009. He has also nine times been listed among the top Texas appellate lawyers under 40 by Texas Rising Stars, and in 2010 was a finalist for Austin Under 40's young professional of the year award.

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