Adam P. Karp: Dogs and Law – S01E04

Dogs in Our World Podcast

Adam P. Karp: Dogs and Law – S01E04 Listen

Show Notes

My research is in the fields of Animal Studies and Renaissance Studies. In my work on the early modern period I have written on issues as varied as meat eating, dreams, children, laughter, reason, bladder-control and animal faces. In addition, I have also done work on contemporary culture, and have looked at a range of areas where humans interact with animals, including pet ownership, experimentation, the wearing of fur, anthropomorphic children's literature and vegetarianism. I am also interested in the historiographical impact of animal studies and have had recent work on this in History and Theory, and in The Oxford Handbook on Animal Studies.

My work is interdisciplinary: I use literary as well as archival materials in research and am currently completing a book MS, with the working title ‘Quick Cattle and Dying Wishes: People and their Animals in Early Modern England’ which uses wills to trace people’s relationships with their livestock animals. I was awarded an AHRC Leadership Fellowship in 2015 to complete this book which will be published by Cornell University Press. In recent years I have also held a Lynnette S. Autrey fellowship at Rice University (2014) and a Macgeorge Fellowship at the University of Melbourne (2015).

Throughout my career I have worked collaboratively with scholars from different disciplines. In 2006, I was a member of the Animal Studies Group whose collective work Killing Animals was published by the University of Illinois Press. In 2011 I co-edited a living book, Veterinary Science: Humans, Animals and Health, for the JISC-funded project Living Books About Life with the environmental ethicist Clare Palmer (Texas A&M University). This is available to download for free on And in 2012 I received a small grant from the Wellcome Trust to undertake a project with the zooarchaeologist Richard Thomas (Leicester University) on animal healthcare in the early modern period. The outcome of this project was published as a feature article in History Today in December 2012.

I am the director of the British Animal Studies Network (BASN) which holds two meetings a year, one always at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. The network brings together those with an interest in human-animal relations from a range of backgrounds from both within and beyond academia and first ran in London from March 2007 to February 2009, funded by the AHRC and Middlesex University. It is now funded by the University of Strathclyde. Details of the network can be found at

I am on the editorial board of a number of journals: Society & Animals; Humanimalia: A Journal of Human/Animal Interface Studies (open access on and The Animal Studies Journal (open access on In recent years I have reviewed books for Society and Animals, History Today, Renaissance Quarterly, and The American Historical Review, and have contributed to recent BBC Radio 4 programmes Natural Histories and Natural History Heroes. A forthcoming article on the history of vegetarianism is coming out in History Today in early 2017.
Behavior and welfare of companion animals; development of human attitudes to animals; history of human-animal interactions; measurement of behavioral phenotypes in dogs and cats; ontogenesis of behavioral problems in companion and working dogs; animal-assisted therapeutic interventions.
Mr. Karp is a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent-rated and AVVO 10.0 Superb-rated lawyer who exclusively practices animal law throughout the States of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Having graduated from Gonzaga University with a B.A. Honors, and University of Washington with a J.D. and M.S. in statistics, this is his nineteenth year actively practicing law. He estimates having evaluated and/or handled over 5400 animal law cases to date and has authored Understanding Animal Law, published by Carolina Academic Press, in October 2016.
Mr. Karp founded and served as first chair of the Washington State Bar Association’s Animal Law Section in 2002 and has held executive committee positions since its formation. He founded the Idaho State Bar Association’s Animal Law Practice Section in 2012 and continues to serve on its executive committee. In 2015, he became an executive committee member of the Oregon State Bar Association’s Animal Law Section. He has also been a vice chair of the American Bar Association’s (“ABA”) Animal Law Committee since its creation in 2004.
Mr. Karp served six years as a contributing editor of the Animal Legal Report, produced by Animal Legal Reports Services, regularly writes on the topic of animal law, and routinely speaks around the nation about animal law, including at Yale, Harvard, Vanderbilt, and Vermont Law School. He has taught and continues to teach animal law at the University of Washington School of Law since 2004 and Seattle University School of Law since 2003. In 2014, he began teaching as a lecturer on animal law at Edmonds Community College. He has been quoted in TIME, the National Law Journal, the ABA Journal, and other periodicals, including dedicated articles on his practice in the Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, Pacific NW Magazine, and Seattle Magazine.
The American Bar Association’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section’s Animal Law Committee’s annual Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award recognizes exceptional work by an Animal Law Committee member who, through commitment and leadership, has advanced the humane treatment of animals through the law. Mr. Karp received this award in 2012.
Mr. Karp has co-authored the ABA Tort and Insurance Practice Section’s Survey on Animal Tort and Insurance Law for ten consecutive years, published three articles in Thomson West’s Causes of Action series (pertaining to injuries to animals by animals, intentional injuries to animals by humans, and Section 1983 claims involving injury to an animal); two annotations in American Legal Reports (pertaining to preconviction and postconviction forfeiture of animals and private prosecution of crimes); two articles in the legal encyclopedia American Jurisprudence Trials (pertaining to veterinary malpractice litigation and use of force against and by animals); co-authored one article in the legal encyclopedia American Jurisprudence Proof of Facts related to defending dangerous dog classifications; and authored an annotation on custodial disputes pertaining to animals in American Jurisprudence Proof of Facts. Mr. Karp recently finished an annotation on litigating service animal access disputes and another on cadaver dog evidence. He is scheduled to prepare annotations on litigating criminal prosecutions of animal fighting contests and litigating actions under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
He has chaired several animal law continuing legal education (“CLE”) conferences hosted by the WSBA, spoken at over fifty CLEs around the nation, all on the subject of animal law, including in New Mexico, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Florida. Mr. Karp also founded and chaired the first and second Animal Law Summit, an international, cross-jurisdictional, multi-day CLE, and continues to maintain a direct role in its future development.
With positive results, he argued before the Washington Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the subject of animal law, resulting in some decisions that many regard as seminal: Womack v. von Rardon, 133 Wash.App. 254 (III, 2006); Mansour v. King Cy., 131 Wash.App. 255 (I, 2006); Sherman v. Kissinger, 146 Wash.App. 855 (I, 2008); Clarke v. Tri-Cities Animal Care & Control Shelter, 144 Wash.App. 185 (III, 2008); In re Lababit, 2009 WL 7751426 (9th Cir.BAP(Wash.)2009); Downey v. Pierce Cy., 165 Wash.App. 152 (II, 2011); In re Rodrigues-Lababit, 415 Fed.Appx. 839 (9th Cir.2011); Twitchell v. Kerrigan,175 Wash.App. 454 (I, 2013); Criscuolo v. Grant Cy., 540 Fed.Appx. 562 (9th Cir.(Wash.)2013); Criscuolo v. Grant Cy., 2014 WL 527218 (E.D.Wa.Feb. 10, 2014); and Newman v. City of Payette, 2015 WL 6159471 (D.Id.Oct. 19, 2015).
Since first joining a superior court arbitration panel in 2006, he has been appointed arbitrator over two dozen times. Mr. Karp sits on such panels in Skagit and Whatcom Counties. Mr. Karp also has acted as a mediator for-hire to resolve animal-related disputes.
Mr. Karp serves as an advisory board member for the Center for Wildlife Ethics. He also volunteered his time to the Northwest Wildlife & Rehabilitation Center, now part of the Whatcom Humane Society. Further, he completed a life-changing 10-day and, later, 3-day course at the Vipassana Northwest Center and meditates daily.
Mr. Karp and his wife have been vegan for eighteen and twenty-six years, respectively, and care for four cats, ages 7, 9, 10, and 22.
Via: The Seattle Times
NONE OF IT might have mattered a decade ago. The fact that Charles Corle loved his 11-year-old Labrador retriever, DJ, as much as a man would love a child? Tough luck. That DJ had done more to help Corle get...
By: James Serpell
n the Company of Animals is an original and very readable study of human attitudes to the natural world. It contrasts the way we love some animals while ruthlessly exploiting others; it provides a detailed and fascinating account of ways in which animal companionship can influence our health; and it provides a key to understanding the moral contradictions inherent in our treatment of animals and nature. Its scope encompasses history, anthropology, and animal and human psychology. Along the way, the author uncovers a fascinating trail of insights and myths about our relationship with the species with which we share the planet. James Serpell is the editor of The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behavior and Interactions With People (CUP, 1995).
In the Company of Animals
By: Peter Singer
Since its original publication in 1975, this groundbreaking work has awakened millions of people to the existence of "speciesism"—our systematic disregard of nonhuman animals—inspiring a worldwide movement to transform our attitudes to animals and eliminate the cruelty we inflict on them.

In Animal Liberation, author Peter Singer exposes the chilling realities of today's "factory farms" and product-testing procedures—destroying the spurious justifications behind them, and offering alternatives to what has become a profound environmental and social as well as moral issue. An important and persuasive appeal to conscience, fairness, decency, and justice, it is essential reading for the supporter and the skeptic alike.
Animal Liberation
By: Adam Karp
This text not only covers obvious topics such as dangerous dog litigation, veterinary malpractice, wildlife law, service animals, valuation of animals, humans harmed by animals, end-of-life/euthanasia, and custody issues; but also provides analysis of other areas of law where they intersect with animal law issues, such as: criminal law, estate planning, consumer protection, bankruptcy, insurance law, contractual disputes, and Section 1983.
Understanding Animal Law
Via: Translated by L.W. King / The Avalon Project
Via: Alexis Myers, Associated Press / US News
Via: Posted by Nicole Pallotta / Animal Legal Defense Fund
With the adoption of an amendment to its divorce law, Alaska has become the first state to empower judges to take into account the “well-being of the animal” in custody disputes involving nonhuman family members.
Via: Posted by Matthew Liebman/ Animal Legal Defense Fund
In March, a New Jersey appeals court ruled that judges can consider the human-animal bond in deciding who gets custody of companion animals when couples separate.