No one likes a braggart. We’ve never sported those bumper stickers that read, “My child made the Honor Roll!” If anything, we’ve been tempted to slap on a sticker that reads, “My cat did NOT make the Honor Roll!” So indulge us while we beam with pride over Softies Adam Lippe and April Doherty, who created the Animal Abuse Unit with Scott Shellenberger’s blessing at the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office.
We call them the “A Team” for good reason. Since 2012, they have successfully prosecuted every animal abuse case they’ve ever handled. And in case you’re wondering, they’ve obtained convictions in over 100 cases. Their track record is stunning, as it’s nearly impossible to bat 1,000 in the justice system, which can be a crap shoot.
It’s been a good year for Adam and April, as it’s only March and they’ve been recognized locally and nationally by their peers. In January, Adam delivered the keynote address at the Baltimore County Bar Banquet, a black-tie event steeped in tradition and mystique, which draws nearly 700 judges and lawyers from across the state. The governor is often invited to speak, but Adam used the bully pulpit to talk about his involvement with Show Your Soft Side and the critical need to protect animals from cruelty and violence. People listened and cheered.
Last week, the A Team made us proud once again when they received national awards from the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and the National Sheriffs’ Association for their extraordinary achievements in countering animal cruelty. April also received “The PO – Game Changer Award.” They were honored for their achievements both in and out of the courtroom and for their determination, passion, and grit.
Adam and April are not 9 to 5 Softies; it’s a 24/7 role for both. Adam forfeits weeks of vacation time to train animal control officers across the state. And April travels nationwide training cops for HSUS, in addition to serving as co-chair of the National Coalition on Violence Against Animals. Moreover, they regularly sacrifice precious weekend time to the Love Leads Project, where they utilize discarded rope from climbing gyms to craft slip leashes for law enforcement and first responders. Adam makes leashes with his kids on Sunday afternoons, and April regularly travels on Friday evenings to Earth Treks in Crystal City, Virginia or Earth Treks in Columbia, Maryland to recruit climbers and animal lovers into making leashes.
The A Team has witnessed enough cruelty to last several lifetimes, but they view each day as an opportunity to help animals that have suffered at the hands of people. They are talented and smart and possess an unparalleled work ethic. Yes, Adam and April made the Honor Roll. Now that’s a bumper sticker we would gladly sport.