Marion County Deputy District Attorney Jean Kunkle Honored By Animal Legal Defense Fund (Photo)
The Marion County District Attorney's Office would like to recognize Deputy District Attorney Jean Kunkle for her tireless efforts in fighting animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect. In February 2014 during National Justice for Animals Week, Kunkle was honored as one of America's top 10 animal defenders by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF). Kunkle received an honoree plaque declaring "Fighting Animal Abuse, Honoring Animal Victims" and was featured on the ALDF website. http://aldf.org/national-justice-for-animals-week/national-justice-for-animals-week-2014/americas-top-10-animal-defenders/
The ALDF is a national, nonprofit organization of attorneys who specialize in the protection of animals and who work to ensure the enforcement of existing animal protection laws. The ALDF seeks protection for abused animals through the criminal justice system, which is supported by more than 100,000 members nationwide.
Jean Kunkle has been a deputy district attorney in Marion County, Oregon since 1988. She is the trial team supervisor of the Domestic Violence Team, which consists of six attorneys responsible for the prosecution of crimes involving domestic violence, animal abuse, and neglect. Her team is committed to holding offenders accountable for their crimes, and assisting victims of crime--whether human or animal. For example, she gained convictions against a defendant charged with the neglect and starvation of sixteen horses, and the defendant was sentenced to two years in jail. Recently she prosecuted three board members of the Willamette Animal Rescue for multiple counts of neglect involving 149 dogs. This extreme hoarding case directly led to a change in Oregon law, making the neglect of 10 or more animals a Class C Felony, under Senate Bill 6 (2013).
She has been a legal instructor at the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training since 1998, where she instructs new police officers on Oregon laws regarding animal abuse and neglect. She served on the Board of Directors for the Willamette Humane Society and is an enthusiastic supporter of The Pongo Fund and Fences for Fido, as well as other animal welfare organizations. She has been a member of the Oregon District Attorneys Association Legislative Committee and has worked with community partners to pass legislation regarding animal abuse and neglect.