Shannon Keith

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Shannon Keith is an American animal rights lawyer, activist, and documentary director/producer.[1] She is the director of the Animal Liberation Front documentary, Behind the Mask: The Story Of The People Who Risk Everything To Save Animals.


Keith grew up in Los Angeles, California, with a house full of animals. Ever since she was a small child, Shannon rescued injured and homeless animals and nursed them back to health or placed them in loving homes.

In later life, Keith became an animal rights activist, documentary film maker and animal rights lawyer. Animals are considered property, and she has striven to change that fact while defending animal rights activists in the courtroom, saving dogs condemned to death in Los Angeles, as well as litigating against those who abuse animals.

Keith has represented a number of well-known animal-rights activists and campaigns, including Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) and Kevin Kjonaas, the former president of SHAC USA, against Huntingdon Life Sciences,[2] and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

She has saved dogs from being euthanized in Los Angeles, and in 2000, she obtained the largest settlement against the City of Los Angeles for the beating to death of a dog by a city employee.[3]

Circa 2002,[4] Shannon began to challenge the media with her strong message in support of animal liberation actions and activists.

In 2004, Shannon started a non-profit, tax-exempt group called ARME (Animal rescue media education). ARME rescues homeless animals and focuses on stopping the problem at its roots through educational initiatives, including making documentaries about animals and animal activists.

In 2006, after three years of filming, Keith released a documentary film about the Animal Liberation Front entitled Behind the Mask: The Story Of The People Who Risk Everything To Save Animals. The documentary was produced in response to what the ALF sees as a growing bias within the mainstream media towards the animal rights movement, both above and underground. Keith founded and runs Uncaged Films /ARME (Animal Rescue, Media & Education), which produced the documentary.


Keith and the Beagle Freedom Project have come under fire [5] for supposedly untruthful behavior, misleading people into thinking their rescue efforts were much worse than the actually were. In November 2013, the group "rescued" a beagle from UC Davis in Northern California who they say "spent the entirety of his short life as a test subject, never getting the chance to play or even smell fresh air. However, an investigation proved that the dog had only been at UC Davis for a couple of weeks, for teaching purposes, not research. No surgery or invasive procedures were involved other than the dog being spayed or neutered. The program at UC Davis involves 2 dogs a year, and the dogs are normally adopted afterward. In this case, the adoption was by a "Katie Johnson" of Livermore, but the address given was for a veterinary clinic in West Hollywood. Johnson took possession of the dog about 5 pm on one day, and the next afternoon was being photographed at a media event by Shannon Keith's nonprofit.

The Beagle Freedom Project's secretary (as of 2016) was a Kevin Kjonnaa, also known as Kevin Chase, who was released from federal prison for his role in the campaign of threats, violence and harassment by SHAC—USA.[6]


  1. ^ Shannon Keith's animal-rights legal practice Archived 2006-08-04 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Huntingdon Life Sciences Inc. v. Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty USA, Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District Court, Division One, State of California, June 1, 2005.
  3. ^ Keith's bio Archived 2006-06-23 at the Wayback Machine, Animal Consultants International.
  4. ^ [1] Archived March 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Jerry the Beagle and the "Liberation" that wasn't
  6. ^ Animal Rights Activists Get Prison In Web Threat Case.

Further reading[edit]

Personal Sites[edit]