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
STATE ANIMAL WELFARE ORGANIZATIONS OPPOSE BUDGET CUTS AIMED AT CALIFORNIA’S ANIMAL SHELTERS
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.”
“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.