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State animal organizations oppose budget cuts aimed at animal shelters

By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 at 6:13 am in Animal Shelters, Animal welfare, Hayden Bill.

“Please help me.”

Dear reader:
Killing pets to save money just doesn’t cut it. The state — Governor Jerry Brown — has to figure out a better way. Same with the California Animal Control Directors Association and the State Humane Association of California. I agree with the final paragraph in their statement below. They need to get together and “explore viable alternatives.”  What do you think? Please leave your thoughts under “Leave a Comment” below. Thanks for caring. /Gary


Governor’s Proposed Budget Cuts Would Have an Adverse Effect on California’s Stray and Abandoned Animals

Sacramento, CA –The California Animal Control Directors Association and the State Humane Association of California announced today (Feb. 13) that they oppose Governor Brown’s proposed repeal of the animal adoption mandate created by the 1998 enactment of the “Hayden Law.”

This mandate requires that animal shelters perform certain duties, including holding stray or abandoned animals for a minimum of four to six days rather than the 72 hours required by prior law and providing them with necessary and prompt veterinary care.  In return, the state is required to provide reimbursement for the increased costs incurred by shelters in the performance of those duties.

“Our organization supports the enhanced care afforded to animals through the passage of the Hayden Law,” stated Marcia Mayeda, President of the California Animal Control Directors Association. “There has been so much progress for animals in California’s shelters since this law became effective.  A repeal would be a huge step backwards.”

 “Please help me.”

“While we understand that the Governor is faced with the necessity of making deep and painful budget cuts, we believe that the welfare of California’s vulnerable companion animals should be given priority,” explained Erica Gaudet Hughes, Executive Director of the State Humane Association of California.  “Reducing the required holding period for stray and abandoned animals to 72 hours and carving away at the requirement that sick and injured animals receive life-saving veterinary care will result in more euthanasia and increased suffering of stray and abandoned animals.  Our sick and vulnerable animals deserve more.”

Mayeda notes that many shelters will continue to hold stray animals for more than 72 hours and provide appropriate veterinary care.  However, local governing bodies will now have the option of requiring that their animal shelters operate at the minimum level required by law.

While funding the mandate is CACDA and SHAC’s first choice, they urge the Governor to suspend — rather than repeal — the animal adoption mandate if the state is simply unable to fund the mandate in the upcoming year.  “We are working closely with our legislative advocate in Sacramento to preserve the Hayden Law so that California can continue to offer a minimum of care for its stray and abandoned animals,” stated Hughes.   “We have a moral imperative to protect those animals that are unable to protect themselves.”

Both organizations advocate for a working group of California’s sheltering leaders to convene to explore viable alternatives.  The working group would also be tasked with evaluating outcomes in the twelve years since enactment of the legislation.

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6 Responses to “State animal organizations oppose budget cuts aimed at animal shelters”

  1. Marla Says:

    I agree with you, Gary. Local budgets are tight everywhere, and it would be a shame if a repeal of the Hayden Law led to shorter hold times for strays. Many pets would lose their lives because of it.

    It would be great if shelter leaders could get together to figure out a game plan to fight the repeal. Getting the word out to drum up public opposition is a good first step.

  2. Grace Johannes Says:

    Please be humane! Please hold these needy animals for as long as you possibly can!

  3. Margaret Wehinger Says:

    My 10 years as volunteer at Oakland’s city animal shelter taught me how much time it takes for people to find lost pets. They may not be in their own shelters but in one farther away. Time to search is limited for working folk, and shelters close for the night before searchers can get there. So, it’s not juse the animals who deserve more holding time – it’s PEOPLE!

  4. Evie Says:

    I think this is a load to CR*P! Governor Brown needs to see how many of these animals are loving, caring, and HAVE feelings. All these animals want is to love, and show that love in return. We don’t “Euthanize” prisoners in jail, 3-4days after they go into jail. Why do we have to euthanize shelter animals, which is a form of “JAIL” for them? GOVERNOR BROWN YOU SHOULD PROTECT ALL SHELTERS!! THIS PROJECT SHOULD BE ON THE TOP OF YOUR EVERYDAY AGENDA!!! TO PROTECT AND HONOR ALL ANIMALS SAFETY IN ALL SHELTERS!

    One, we need to stop people dumping animals dog/cat/rabbit/bird for one, to where they end up at these kinds shelters. Two, help stop people who surrender their pets because they decided they DO NOT want to care for any longer. (MAYBE PLACE A FEE ON THESE PEOPLE TO HELP OUT SHELTERS ACROSS THE STATE. PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT TO CARE FOR THEIR PETS ANYMORE)

    My apologies for venting, this is just so uncalled for!

  5. Salina Says:

    I called Gov Jerry Brown’s office I told his aid that I thought his plan to take money away from these animals was shocking and I as a tax paying citizen am peeved off. In addition making disabled people choose these so called managed health plans is a joke there are no primary care doctors taking this. It most likely pays least then regular medi-cal shame on you for making these blind, and disabled people believe they could still get the care they needed and deserve.

  6. JJ Says:

    I’m shocked that the Governor would consider shortening the holding time for shelter animals to 72 hours in order to save money. I was hoping that part of the Governor’s legacy would be California becoming a no-kill shelter state.

    The video below not only shows that every hour counts when saving a pet, but that pets labeled with ‘behavior problems’ need more TLC and more time!

    “Edie – rescued an hour before euthanasia”

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