Target: Jerry Brown, Governor of California
Goal: Protect elderly dogs from being killed in California shelters
Senior dogs in California are often killed in shelters if they cannot find foster homes. Take the case of Daisy, a spayed 15-year-old terrier mix in Los Angeles’s Baldwin Park shelter. With little interest from potential adopters, she will almost surely be killed. Sadly, it is clear that Daisy was once a pet and has only come on hard times recently. Without a foster home, she will die alone at the hands of strangers. We can save animals like Daisy by showing an interest in elderly dogs and their well-being. Several states have a “no-kill” policy toward shelter animals. They achieve this through statewide legislation and an active community of foster homes, animal sanctuaries, and animal rights philanthropists.
According to the No Kill Declaration, 4 million dogs and cats are killed in US shelters each year. No-kill advocates say we can prevent this by implementing certain simple measures, such as inexpensive spay and neuter services. We can also allow private rescue organizations to step in and save animals at their own expense, a practice that is actually banned in some communities. In Southern California, dogs like Daisy could be sent to the Riverside Humane Society Pet Adoption Center, the CageFree K9 Rescue Foundation, or the Friends of Animals Foundation. These groups provide no-kill shelters for unwanted dogs who might otherwise die.
In the ’90s, California passed ground-breaking legislation to prevent the suffering of animals in shelters. This included the Vincent Law, requiring shelters to neuter or spay pets before putting them up for adoption; the Hayden Law, which requires shelters to keep records of animals, including those they kill; and the Kopp Law, which forbids euthanasia via carbon monoxide gas chambers. Now let’s ask California leaders to implement a no-kill program for sick and elderly dogs.
Dear Governor Brown,
Despite California’s progressive legislation in the 1990s protecting animals in shelters, elderly dogs may still be destroyed throughout the state if a foster home is not found. Many of these animals live as pets their entire lives and only become strays in their later years. Some dogs on death row have been spayed or neutered by previous owners and display perfect manners, but are killed nonetheless because few families wish to adopt elderly dogs.
Do not punish these creatures for their age. Do not let them die alone at the hands of strangers. I encourage you to make California a no-kill state. Save these animals by making spay and neuter services inexpensive for families. Allow private no-kill organizations to step in a take over the care of any animal who might otherwise be killed. Give incentives to those who adopt sick or elderly animals. Give senior dogs a chance to live out their final years in peace.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: samat k rain via Wikimedia