John F. Kennedy University's Student Animal Legal Defense Fund was recently honored as Chapter of the Year for its efforts to advance the field of animal law and animal advocacy through projects and initiatives both on and off campus.

Matthew Taxman, a lifelong animal lover and JFK law student, founded the chapter in February -- developing its constitution and bylaws in just weeks -- after learning about the fund's mission to advocate for animals through the legal system.

The 30-member chapter raised more than $1,200 over four days to support ALDF, and Taxman worked with the university's College of Law to add a course in animal law, taught by Joyce Tischler, the founder and general counsel of ALDF.

"Student Animal Legal Defense Fund chapters are important because these are the attorneys of tomorrow who will continue our mission of protecting the interests of animals in the legal arena," said Tischler. "We are thrilled with what the JFK University law students have achieved in a short time."

The ALDF was founded in 1979 and has been on the forefront of animal law, urging stronger anti-cruelty laws and more humane treatment of animals.

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