NAIA Bids Farewell to a Treasured Friend

NAIA Bids Farewell to a Treasured Friend

By:  Date: 02/1/2021 Category: | Animal Legislation |

It is with deep sorrow that National Animal Interest Alliance shares the passing of Chairman of the Board, Julian Prager, JD. Mr. Prager, a licensed attorney in New York, was nationally renowned for his commitment to animal welfare for all species and a guiding light in NAIA’s legislative efforts since 2008.

“To Julian, working on legislation was like solving a Sudoku or crossword puzzle or a complex math problem,” said Patti Strand, NAIA President. “He loved every aspect of it: from identifying the problem, to researching the issues and existing laws, and then finally coming up with the perfect legislative solution. But his appetite for problem-solving wasn’t an end in itself. Instead, Julian’s driving passion was to be of value to the community he loved.”

A longstanding member of the Bulldog clubs of America, Philadelphia, and New Jersey, and a delegate to the American Kennel Club, Mr. Prager strived to get members of dog clubs to become active in legislative activities.

“Julian was a brilliant guy,” said veterinarian and NAIA Vice President. Arnold Goldman. “He was a bit of a polymath and could have done anything, yet he put his talents into what he cared most deeply about: dogs, dog ownership, and dog breeding. We are so fortunate he chose to share himself, and his many talents, with us.”

Using both his legal expertise, and his wisdom, Mr. Prager developed a comprehensive understanding of the issues surrounding the importation of dogs, and helped NAIA draft the language that became the Healthy Dog Importation Act (HR 6921). The Act will require health and vaccination requirements for dogs imported to our nation and will streamline and coordinate Federal oversight.

“Julian was always very generous with his time,” said Barbara Reichman, NAIA’s Shelter Project Director. “He always saw the big picture, and his heart was with what we were trying to achieve at NAIA.”

In his role as Canine Program Advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Animal Care, Mr. Prager had worked to develop and apply policies and standards for enforcement of the United States Animal Welfare Act. Professionally, he held several Commissioner-level positions in NYC government, and was the General Counsel and Executive Director of New York City Animal Care and Control. In that latter role, he negotiated an innovative agreement with Mayor Ed Koch’s Alliance for NYC Animals to reduce euthanasia rates and increase placement rates.

“Working with Julian Prager over the last decade and a half was a blessing to all of us at NAIA,” said Strand. “We will always remember him, and miss his friendship, guidance, and dedication.”

With our friends at the American Kennel Club, NAIA looks forward to Congress passing the Healthy Dog Importation Act, which will stand as a lasting tribute to Mr. Prager’s animal law legacy.

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