Anne Davis, 55, longtime director of the Animal Advocacy Alliance of Utah, died on August 30, 2014.
Recalled Erin Alberty of the Salt Lake Tribune, “Davis helped lead efforts to strengthen animal cruelty laws, culminating in the 2008 passage of ‘Henry’s Law,’ which made the torture of companion animals a third-degree felony.”
Said Davis after winning the first conviction under the new law in 2009, “We started in 1996 with an upgrade from a Class C misdemeanor to a Class A. After all those years it’s paying off.”
Testified Gene Baierschmidt, executive director of the Humane Society of Utah since 1988, “That accomplishment. along with her love of all animals, should be her legacy.”
Continued Alberty, “In 2010, Davis pushed for statewide standards to kill animals in shelters, banning gas chambers and drowning, but the bill failed.”
The Animal Advocacy Alliance of Utah grew out of a campaign Davis organized in the early 1990s to seek reforms at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City. The zoo was in 1996 fined $25,000 for multiple Animal Welfare Act violations that has occurred in 1993-1994, and after a change of leadership was extensively rebuilt.
Stephen Hunt of the Salt Lake Tribune in January 1997 disclosed that in June 1995, nine days after a firebombing at the Majestic Meats plant in Salt Lake City, Davis told police that Jaime Boulter, then a co-worker at Public Interest Communications, had pointed to a newspaper article about the fire and said, “We did this.”
Boulter, 18, was charged with the arson, which had been anonymously claimed by the “Animal Liberation Front,” a name used by many different individuals and entities since 1976, most of whom have had little or no connection to any of the others.
“Since then,” Hunt wrote, “Davis has received death threats, including a toy bear smeared with red dye and accompanied by the warning, ‘You talk, you die.’ Her own rallies were put under surveillance by police looking for terrorists.”
In December 1996, Davis told deputy Salt Lake district attorney Ernie Jones that she was afraid to testify against Boulter.
“Davis was jailed as a material witness to ensure her cooperation,” Hunt reported. “Davis was arrested without warning and held in lieu of $100,000 bond–four times the bond posted by Boulter, whose lawyer arranged for her surrender at her convenience. Davis was locked up for 32 hours; Boulter spent four hours in jail.”
Although Boulter was placed close to at least one alleged ALF action 90 minutes before it happened, and purported ALF paraphernalia was found in a search of her home, the felony charge against her was eventually dropped.