Shelley Rios, Attorney at Law is the co-founder and treasurer of
The Animal Protectorates™ (TAPS), and proudly serves as the vice-chair of the Animal Law Guild,
the advocacy arm of The Animal Protectorates. She previously served as
vice-chair of the Animal Legal Defense Fund – Los Angeles, and she
is a member of the American Bar Association's Animal Law Committee.
The Animal Law Guild is a nonprofit think tank of attorneys and law students
who are committed to making the world a better place for animals through
legal advocacy. The Guild partners with law firms, bar associations, law
schools, animal protection groups, and others to forward its mission.
In February of 2011, Christy Schilling met Attorney Shelley Rios and
enlisted her help to get legislation passed in Burbank to ban the importation
and sale of puppies from puppy mills. After a mass-pouring of community
support, Citizens for Rescue-Only Pet Stores (CROPS) was born.
With ordinances successfully passed in Burbank, Glendale, and Los Angeles,
CROPS realized that it needed to do more for animals. The decision was
made to form The Animal Protectorates™ (TAPS). The four pillars
of TAPS are:
- T for Teach
- A for Advocate
- P for Protect
- S for Support
TAPS ultimately absorbed the CROPS name, mission and volunteers and transformed
it into a larger, expanded vision. On May 19, 2013, TAPS established official
TAPS has many purposes, all aimed at protecting the welfare of all animals.
Just a few of the aims of the organization include: 1) to protect animals
in every possible way, 2) to promote increased awareness about animal
cruelty, 3) to promote a legal reclassification of animals other than
property, 4) to financially support programs and organizations involving
animal welfare, and 5) to carry on charitable activities aligned with
these goals as allowed by law.
Attorney Rios's message about the animal protection movement, "Effective
animal advocates come from all different backgrounds and walks of life
– political, religious, economic – the most important thing
we can remember as a whole is to present ourselves professionally and
focus on our commonalties and not our differences in order to move the
law forward for animals."
The Burbank Leader recognized Attorney Rios as "
Burbank's Best Attorney" for her work in animal welfare.
Attorney Rios and her husband enjoy fostering orphaned animals regularly,
and Attorney Rizzotti currently serves as the vice president of the Burbank