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Lawyer helps dogs find homes in New England

Dave Stafford
May 21, 2014
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Rescue-1-15col.jpg Hendricks Superior Magistrate Judge Tammy Somers, left, and teacher Stacy Sereyka-Bogart on an animal rescue mission. (Submitted photo)

Hendricks Superior Magistrate Judge Tammy Somers recently took a weekend road trip that saved 60 dogs – animals that otherwise may have been euthanized.

Somers joined CanINE Express, an organization that last month sent a convoy of three vans carrying dogs to New England, where they found new homes.

“When we dropped our puppies off in Vermont, the shelter director said the animals all will be adopted by next week, and it was really emotional,” Somers said. “These are animals that most likely would have been euthanized if they had stayed here in Indianapolis.”

Somers explained that states such as New Hampshire and Vermont have stricter dog and cat sterilization laws, so shelters there are more easily able to find adoptive homes for pets.

In this case, the animals that had been linked to new homes through petfinder.com included a number of beagle puppies. “They talk,” Somers said of her chatty companions during a roughly 18-hour transit.

The animals were taken from the Humane Society of Indianapolis to the New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Stratham, N.H., and to North Country Animal League in Morrisville, Vt.

Somers has been involved in animal rescue efforts for years, dating to the 1990s when she worked in the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office.

About every other weekend, Somers volunteers with local groups that transport rescue animals, such as Cruisin’ Critters Transports and Rescue Railroad. Other weekends she volunteers at the Indianapolis Zoo.

She said the fact that volunteers have to save animals by transporting them to states where tighter laws are on the books shows that Indiana could be saving money and animal lives if stricter laws were in place. “It’s a little disappointing,” she said.

Somers’ journey to New England was her first long-distance delivery, but it’s unlikely her last.

“To see people so happy and excited, it’s really rewarding to be involved,” she said.•

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  1. Paul Ogden doing a fine job of remembering his peer Gary Welsh with the post below and a call for an Indy gettogether to celebrate Gary .... http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2016/05/indiana-loses-citizen-journalist-giant.html Castaways of Indiana, unite!

  2. It's unfortunate that someone has attempted to hijack the comments to promote his own business. This is not an article discussing the means of preserving the record; no matter how it's accomplished, ethics and impartiality are paramount concerns. When a party to litigation contracts directly with a reporting firm, it creates, at the very least, the appearance of a conflict of interest. Court reporters, attorneys and judges are officers of the court and must abide by court rules as well as state and federal laws. Parties to litigation have no such ethical responsibilities. Would we accept insurance companies contracting with judges? This practice effectively shifts costs to the party who can least afford it while reducing costs for the party with the most resources. The success of our justice system depends on equal access for all, not just for those who have the deepest pockets.

  3. As a licensed court reporter in California, I have to say that I'm sure that at some point we will be replaced by speech recognition. However, from what I've seen of it so far, it's a lot farther away than three years. It doesn't sound like Mr. Hubbard has ever sat in a courtroom or a deposition room where testimony is being given. Not all procedures are the same, and often they become quite heated with the ends of question and beginning of answers overlapping. The human mind can discern the words to a certain extent in those cases, but I doubt very much that a computer can yet. There is also the issue of very heavy accents and mumbling. People speak very fast nowadays, and in order to do that, they generally slur everything together, they drop or swallow words like "the" and "and." Voice recognition might be able to produce some form of a transcript, but I'd be very surprised if it produces an accurate or verbatim transcript, as is required in the legal world.

  4. Really enjoyed the profile. Congratulations to Craig on living the dream, and kudos to the pros who got involved to help him realize the vision.

  5. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

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