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71 Nat'l Law. Guild Rev. 44 (2014)
Work like a Dog: Expanding Animal Cruelty Statutes to Gain Human Rights for Migrant Farmworkers in the U.S.

handle is hein.journals/guild71 and id is 46 raw text is: 



Margaret Shikibu
                                     WORK LIKE A DOG: EXPANDING
                                     ANIMAL CRUELTY STATUTES TO
                                GAIN HUMAN RIGHTS FOR MIGRANT
                                         FARMWORKERS IN THE U.S.
Introduction
   It does not take long either to boil an egg or to cook neurons.' This ex-
plains why a body literally cooks itself from the inside out under certain condi-
tions. The loss of water from the body triggers the onset of rapidly escalating
symptoms of heat illness: increased thirst, dry mouth, cessation of of sweating
and tear production, muscle cramps, nausea and vomiting, heart palpitations,
and lightheadedness.2 Left unchecked, dehydration will then cause confusion
and weakness, as the brain and other bodily organs receive less blood.Finally,
coma and massive organ failure will follow.' But two surprisingly simple
ingredients can prevent any of this from occurring: water and shade.4
   Heat illness was certainly not prevented in the case of two workers, A
and B. Worker A died in the company car on June 20, 1998 in San Diego
County, California.' Temperatures had topped 1000 F that day, and a necropsy
performed on Worker A confirmed that he died from the effects of heatstroke.6
Further upstate near Stockton, Worker B died on May 16, 2008, two days after
collapsing on the job from 950 heat.7 At the time of her arrival at a hospital,
her internal body temperature topped 108°F
   Two workers in the same state, both dead from heatstroke-but there the
similarities end. Worker A (Forrest), was a 5-year old Belgian Malinois as-
signed to the K-9 unit of a police department that had been left in his squad
car with the windows rolled up.9 His handler ultimately pleaded no contest
to a misdemeanor charge of animal neglect, and was ordered to: (1) pay a
$411 fine; (2) pay $4,941 in restitution for the dog; (3) perform 100 hours of
community service; and (4) serve three years of probation.0 Moreover, in an
effort to prevent similar tragedies, the Police Department announced plans to
buy heat-alert systems for its fleet of 53 canine patrol cars that would auto-
matically lower the car's windows, switch on the air conditioning, and sound
an alarm when the interior of the car reached a predetermined temperature.1
   Worker B (Maria Isavel Vasquez Jimenez), on the other hand, was a
pregnant 17-year old human.12 She had been denied water and shade as she

Margaret Shikibu's circuitous road to law school included stints in a wide range of
industries, including wholesale jewelry, automotive manufacturing, and hospitality. She
plans to practice Labor & Employment litigation. She can be reached at shikibujd@
gmail.com. She thanks Professor Christopher David Ruiz Cameron for reading and
providing insightful comments on earlier drafts of this article.

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