Target: Jerry Brown, Governor of California
Goal: Do not change law that helps to better ensure lost and abandoned pets will be adopted.
Shelter animals may lose a lot of their protections, making it so they are euthanized sooner. We need to take action to better ensure these animals will have the chance to be reunited with their families.
Governor Brown of California wants to weaken the Hayden Act that makes it so stray animals have to be held for four to six days before they are killed by shelter officials. The law also requires shelter employees to post lists of lost and found pets and to keep records that show what care has been given to the animals for at least 3 years.
The new law would only require animals to be held for 72 hours. Shelter workers would also likely no longer be required to post public lists stating what pets were recorded as lost and found. Employees would further no longer likely be required to keep records, making it so animal shelters would be held less accountable for their actions. Such potential changes would mean that many innocent animals would almost certainly be killed or not receive proper care.
Funding given by the state to local shelters has been suspended since the year 2009. Therefore, California isn’t losing or saving money by making changes to the law.
If the government worked with respected shelter officials during this time period of suspension, ways to reward shelters for increasing adoption rates could be created. A solution that benefits both the state government and the animal shelters could further be derived.
Demand all aspects of the Hayden law stay intact. Since there are approximately 500,000 animals killed in California shelters each year, more emphasis should be put on what we can do to help them, not on how quickly they can be euthanized.
Dear Governor Brown,
Many more animals will be unnecessarily killed if aspects of the Hayden law are repealed. It is important that these animals have an adequate chance to reunite with family members or to find loving homes before they are euthanized.
Requiring shelters to hold animals for four to six days gives them a much better chance to be placed in a good home than only holding them for a short 72 hour time-period. In addition, doing things like no longer requiring public lists of lost and found pets to be kept only better ensures that many more animals will be killed because they will have less of a chance of being found.
Furthermore, state funds that were once given to local shelters have been suspended since 2009, which means that repealing aspects of this law does nothing to save money and only helps to ensure animals will continue to be euthanized at faster rates.
A better solution would be to communicate with local shelter employees in order to get ideas about how communities and shelters may be rewarded for raising their adoption rates. This would also allow for more creative solutions to be presented as to how to save state money and also as to how to better help distressed animals.
I therefore urge you to leave the Hayden Act completely intact. Not doing so will only lead to the inhumane outcome of many animals dying way too soon.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Liana Aghajanian