Me Terrin: “Every animal that suffers has the right to a lawyer”

SClients are called Tito, Youri, Mustache or Rosa. All the misery of the animal world parades in his cabinet located as the god of animals wanted, rue Paradis, in Marseille. Isabelle Terrin defends dogs and cats that have been tortured, burned alive, defenestrated or starved. This former kindergartener turned into a lawyer “wearing the dress for them”, to restore their dignity, defend their rights and honor their memory. “Every animal that suffers has the right to have a lawyer,” insists the one who says she is “the voice of the voiceless.” What characterizes her among animal rights specialists is her unique approach to defense. “My client is the animal itself,” she claims.

The treatment of the animal says a lot about us.Mig Isabelle Terrin

In the criminal court bar, during the trial against the executioner of Iboo, “the one-eyed and burnt martyr dog”, she stated: “For at least four days you suffered in the dirty closed door of your master’s apartment. His cruelty. His back was badly burned, and his eye was torn out. When you were dying, when you no longer had the strength to react to his attack, he threw you in the trash like a used Kleenex, and that was where you were found and rescued. “The man with a heavily charged journal was sentenced to ten months in prison with continued detention.

Mand Terrin also enjoys this second recent victory, the condemnation of the killer of a German Shepherd (Jagger) to repair the damage to his owners worth 12,300 euros. “The lawyer is the last bulwark against oblivion, it is a magnificent mission that carries me to defend these oppressed, trampled animals, victims of human villain and, what is worse, for the indifference of the prosecution. The treatment of the animal says a lot about us, ”notes Ms.and Land.


The detonator of her calling, which became her “muse” and “emblem of her struggle”, was Yorkshire Icko, with a mutilated muzzle, which she adopted. It took him five years to decide to go to court, which in 2021 sentenced his torturer to four months in prison, with no possibility of adaptation, for abuse and cruelty.

Isabelle Terrin does not give up. Its association Animal Defense and Dignity mandates lawyers to initiate actions related to animal cruelty. “The presence of a lawyer, a fortiori with an association, gives credibility to the complaint and more easily opens the door to the criminal case,” notes M.and Graziella Dodé, partner in the association. But so far, very few lawyers are practicing this case, which is not considered a specialty in itself. Moving the lines on this almost virgin plot is all the more cumbersome as “pet owners do not know their rights well and are reluctant to act,” adds Ms.and Died.

The problem of animal status

Isabelle Terrin criticizes the rabbit fur emblems that still adorn some lawyer dresses, and hopes that one day she will wear hers to the robbers. “I want when you kill an animal, you’re charged with murder, that’s the whole point of my fight,” she pleads. The lawyer nevertheless welcomes the increased severity of the penal code. The author of the abuse and atrocities against “a domestic animal, or tamed or held captive” now risks three years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros, and if the animal was killed by its master, he risks up to five years in prison and a fine of 75,000 Euro.

Still at the civilian level, the animal is still considered an object. “The legislator says the animal is a living being endowed with sensitivity, but he continues to submit to that property regime. The animal therefore hovers between humans and furniture,” emphasizes this passionate sexager. On the pediment of the animal temple that has been her study, this phrase by Gandhi could emerge, as she likes to quote: ” We can judge the greatness of a nation by the way animals are treated there. »

SAGList of Lawyers 2022

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