Brooks McCormick, Jr. had a deep bond with animals. He shared his life with many companion animals that fueled his belief in their emotional cognizance and intellectual capacity. His dearest relationship was with his two dogs, Barney and Bailey, whom he regarded on a level equal to any human counterpart.
It was through these profound animal connections that Brooks realized a purpose for his life and his fortune. His realization was that there existed a gap between human and animal relationships—and the laws and policies that governed them—and it was Brooks' realization that there was not enough empirical research to bridge the gap.
In the eyes of current law and policy, animals are regarded as a form of property, but Brooks hoped that with a deeper understanding, policymakers could gain an objective analysis and create a momentum for change.
Through his vision and wealth, Brooks hoped to leave a legacy of opportunity that would produce a profound change in animal rights law and policy.
In 2015, Brooks died, and in 2017, the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law and Policy, Inc. was founded, and Brooks' vision to create a paradigm shift or renaissance in animal welfare—by advancing animal rights law and policy—was put into motion.