SBM Animal Law Section announces Brandi and Sadie Award recipients

The Animal Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan will present the Sadie Award to Stiggy's Dogs at 3 p.m. on April 17 at the organization's facility in Hamburg Township. Stiggy's Dogs is a nonprofit organization that rescues and trains shelter dogs to be psychiatric service dogs for military veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Traumatic Brain Injury. The psychiatric service dogs are trained and deployed at no cost to the veteran. 

The Sadie Award was created in 2001 to recognize contributions to the well-being of animals made by Michigan residents not involved in the legal or legislative systems. The award was named in memory of Sadie, a beloved family dog who died as the result of animal cruelty. Previous recipients of the Sadie Award include Michigan Humane Society Cruelty Investigation Team, Ron Kagan, Judy Dynnick, Melissa Rosenberg, West Michigan SPCA d/b/a Faithful to Felines, SASHA Farm and Connie Page and Tom Connor.

The SBM Animal Law Section will also present the Brandi Award to Katie Branigan Hawkins, an assistant prosecuting attorney with the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office, at 4 p.m. on March 29 at the Jackson Fraternal Order of Police Lodge. Branigan Hawkins formed an Animal Anticruelty Task Force with Dr. Cathy Anderson, shelter veterinarian for Jackson County Animal Control. Branigan Hawkins has personally taken cruelty and neglect cases arising from Jackson County Animal Control and empowered the shelter to pursue charges on felony and misdemeanor cases. Her contributions have been vital to the shelter, which has no animal control officers. The Brandi Award recipient can designate a $250 honorarium to a Michigan nonprofit organization. Branigan Hawkins has chosen the Friends of the Animals for the Jackson Area, Inc. to receive the honorarium.

The SBM Animal Law Section established the Brandi Award in 2000 to periodically recognize a person in the legal or legislative professions who does something remarkable for animals. The award was first presented to Hon. Kaye Tertzag, a Wayne County Circuit Court judge who ruled that a case seeking non-economic damages in the death of Brandi, a companion dog, should proceed.

Other recipients of the award include Rep. Robert Kosowski, Hon. Steven Servaas, former Judge David Soet, Hon. John Hallacy, prosecutor Katherine Miller, former Sen. Carl Levin, Hon. Conrad Sindt, Senator Rick Jones, former Rep. Pamela Byrnes, former Rep. John Espinoza, and Senator Steven Bieda.