California Governor Proposes Controversial Animal Shelter Law RepealPublished January 30, 2012
could-be victims of the California animal shelter law repeal
California Gov. Jerry Brown plans to propose a repeal of significant provisions to a 1998 law that extended the required number of days that animal shelters must hold dogs and cats before they can be euthanized from three days to six days. The author of the provision, former California State Sen. Tom Hayden, has launched an attack against Brown and his proposed policy, garnering the support of many enraged animal activists.
In a video posted to YouTube, Hayden calls on the governor to think carefully before enacting legislation that will put the lives of thousands of animals in danger—at the hands of the government. Referencing Brown’s own beloved Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Sutter, Hayden says in his video: “Governor, I see you're a dog owner…You love that dog. Your wife loves that dog. So stop and think. Thousands of dogs and cats are put to death needlessly every year. It's not a budget issue ... it's a humane issue.”
H.D. Palmer, spokesperson for the Department of Finance, tends to disagree, telling the San Francisco Chronicle that Brown’s proposition to repeal the 1998 law is indeed a budget issue costing the state of California an estimated $23 million per year. Palmer goes on to say that the law actually gives shelters with more euthanizations greater compensation than shelters with more adoptions—something Palmer says is a “perverse incentive".
Animal activists dispute Palmer’s claim, asserting that the current law encourages shelters to coordinate with nonprofit animal rescue groups in order to reunite lost pets with their owners or to find homeless pets loving owners. Opponents of Brown’s intended repeal have also created a Facebook page, Sutter's Friends, named after the beloved First Dog. The page seeks to spread awareness and garner the strong and united voice necessary to oppose the repeal.
Animal lovers everywhere understand the value of a pet’s life and it is important that the government of the state of California is reminded of the value of the state’s animals and the shelters that protect them. The shelters could be the place where lost pet and owner are reunited or where a homeless dog is finally given a home.
What are your thoughts on the proposed shelter law repeal that will apparently speed up the euthanasia process in shelters? Share them in a comment.