Animal Abuse Litigation Fund

Dear Friends and Family,

Help us fight animal abuse!

I am raising money to finance a new non-profit that will
fund animal abuse litigation and lobby for animal abuse law reform. Let me tell you the story of our 4-year old cane corso, Urs, and why this is an important cause that is close to our hearts.

This is Urs almost 5 years ago, just a week after Anca and I brought him home. He grew up to be a sweet, gentle giant and a loving member of our family.  He was terrific with our 2-year old daughter, and was loved by all who met him.

This past summer, my family went on a short vacation and left a very health, athletic 4-year old Urs with a boarding facility in Brandywine, MD, operated by Kathy Rzepkowski.  Within a week, we came home to discover that Urs had died and been buried while we were away.  Outraged and upset, we said that we were coming to get him and were told "today is not convenient."

We called the police and went anyway. The police found Kathy hiding in a parking lot down the street. When they brought her back, it took an hour for her just to figure out where she had buried Urs.  The police told us they heard her ask an employee "is he in the usual place."

I spent about 30 minutes digging up poor Urs while my wife, Anca stood by in tears.  Once I had him uncovered, I dragged his 120-lb body out of the ground. We rented a pick up truck from U-Haul because he smelled too bad to go into our car, and drove him 2 hours for a forensic necropsy (basically an autopsy that is admissible in court).

We later discovered that previous reports of animal abuse had been filed against this operator, who admitted to the allegations.  I am told that 2 other dogs have died at her farm.

Urs had been buried for days, and so the findings of the necropsy were limited because he was already decomposing.  We know he did not die of cancer, physical injury, bloat or stomach torsion. As you can imagine, healthy dogs generally don't die suddenly (just like people). A leading expert has told us that, if this were a person, it would likely be considered murder. By burying Urs instead of bringing him to a vet, the operator has effectively destroyed critical evidence and made it impossible to accurately determine cause of death.

The county attorney responsible for the criminal litigation has told us that they are considering dropping the charges against the operator despite our overwhelming evidence of foul play, and preceding reports of abuse that have been admitted to.

In cases like this, state law generally limits damages to the replacement cost of the animal. That means, legal fees cannot be recovered. Most people in our situation are not able to cover the cost of the litigation and are left with no recourse to pursue justice for their loved ones.

In our case, we believe the operator should be held responsible for the abuses committed and his death, and potentially the county should be held responsible for not taking action earlier on reported abuse and preventing such an awful death.

I'm forming a non-profit to help people like us, by:

1) financially supporting litigation of legitimate animal abuse cases

2) lobbying for legal reform to provide access to justice for victims of animal abuse

3) sponsorship of a known animal abusers list

4) pursue other avenues to protect animals

Donations will be tax-deductible when we set up the non-profit. We'll send what you need!
Donations of $25 or more will receive a special gift package.

Just a Little Bit About Me
If you are reading this and don't know me, I want to share a bit of my background so that you can feel confident about funding this effort. I graduated from Cornell University in 2003, and currently own and run a successful small business and a start-up. My wife, Anca, is a Georgetown and Thunderbird grad, and runs her own consulting business. I'm happy to share more if you are interested, but mostly wanted to provide enough info here that you can be confident we're going to make this work, and work well.  Basically, I'm going to fight like hell to take on animal abuse.

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Walker Lunn 
Washington D.C., DC
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