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Tag: repeal

The terminator lives up to his name

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed repealing a law designed to postpone euthanasia in animal shelters.

The governor — facing a $24.3 billion deficit — says he will ask the state legislature to repeal a 1998 law called the “Hayden Bill,” which requires shelters to keep animals alive four to six days before putting them to sleep. The state government reimburses local governments for the cost of housing animals for the extended holding period.

Schwarzenegger’s recommendation would allow shelters to euthanize animals after three days, according to the San Diego News Network.

The change in policy would save the state about $24 million in feeding, caring for and housing the animals, according to the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Animal-rights organizations have asked the governor to temporarily suspend the bill instead, and are trying to work out an adoption-incentive funding plan that would assist shelters.

The Humane Society of the United States, the American SPCA, the State Humane Association of California and California Animal Control Directors Association have all filed notice of opposition to the governor’s plan.

In 2007-2008, the county’s shelters took in 26,078 animals, about11,600 were adopted out, or sent to a rescue group, and 4,800 of which were reunited with owners. About 7,500 had to be euthanized, which is a decrease from the 9,218 euthanized in 2003-2004.

“Dogs and cats are as American as apple pie and baseball; you can’t mess with someone’s family – their kids, or their pets,” said Darlene White, the executive director of the San Diego Animal Support Foundation. “These pets – our pets – deserve the extra days for us to try to find them.”

The governor’s proposal will force shelters to euthanize animals before owners can claim them, or before privately-funded shelters or rescue groups can save them, White said.

A law worth shooting down

The otherwise dog-friendly state of Washington is working to remove two embarassingly unfriendly laws from its books, both of which require wandering dogs to be shot.

The state Senate unanimously approved a bill Monday that could repeal both, the Associated Press reported.

“I thought it was a joke. I didn’t realize that this was in statute,” said Sen. Dale Brandland, R-Bellingham, sponsor of the measure to repeal the old laws. “It’s very outdated … they need to go.”

One of the laws in question gives dog owners 48 hours to kill their dog if it is found killing another animal. The other law requires sheriffs to kill any dog running at large without a metal dog tag, between the months of August and February.

The measure now moves to the House for consideration. The laws have been on the books since the early 1900s when the health and welfare of livestock was of greater concern to state residents.