RALPH A. DEMEO is a Shareholder in the Tallahassee-based firm Guilday Law, where he specializes in environmental, land use, administrative, and animal law. He is widely recognized as one of the leading environmental and animal law practitioners in the State of Florida and throughout the USA. He received his B.A. and M.A. from Stetson University, studied post-graduate creative writing and literature at The University of Florida, and received his J.D. from FSU College of Law. He is an Adjunct Professor of Animal Law and Environmental Law at FSU College of Law, Florida A&M University, and Tallahassee Community College, and has published over 40 law review, journal, treatise, and textbook articles and chapters. He frequently lectures law students, lawyers, humane advocates, judges, and others statewide on matters relating to animal law, and is a registered lobbyist for The Florida Bar Animal Law Section. He is recognized as a top lawyer in respected national lawyer ranking services including Martindale-Hubbell (top rating 5.0 Preeminent); Florida Super Lawyers (top 5% of Florida environmental lawyers; Chambers USA (top 10 Florida environmental lawyers); Best Lawyers in America; and Who’s Who Legal USA. He is past Chair of The Florida Bar Animal Law Section; Environmental & Land Use Law Section; and Florida Bar Journal & News Editorial Board. He regularly represents animal owners in court on animal welfare cases. He represented the Animal Legal Defense Fund and The Florida Bar as a member of the “Greyhound Dream Team” that lobbied and litigated against greyhound racing and breeding interests and successfully placed the ban on racing on the statewide Florida ballot, which ended greyhound racing in Florida, with a corresponding ripple effect throughout the USA.
With respect to his animal welfare activities, he is a life-long animal lover and advocate. He co-founded Pets Ad Litem, Inc. a 501c3 charity dedicated to humane education and advocacy; The Tallahassee Animal Shelter Foundation (dedicated to supporting the Tallahassee Animal Service Center); and Geoffrey Bear Foundation (dedicated to veterinarian welfare). He is also a long-time member and advisor to the Leon County Humane Society and other animal welfare organizations. He serves on the City of Tallahassee Animal Crimes Task Force where he advises the city on animal law, and on the Tallahassee Police Department Citizens’ Advisory Council, where he advises law enforcement on human and animal crimes. He has a special love and appreciation for horses, having rescued, rehabilitated, fostered, and adopted multiple horses.