View Full Version : California's New Governer?!

06-25-2004, 02:33 PM
Have you seen this from today's CNN on-line?

What is he thinking!!!

Schwarzenegger backs speedier killing of strays

SACRAMENTO, California (AP) -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to repeal a state law that requires animal shelters to hold stray dogs and cats for up to six days before killing them.

Instead, there would be a three-day requirement for strays. Other animals, including birds, hamsters, potbellied pigs, rabbits, snakes and turtles, could be killed immediately.

Schwarzenegger has told the state Legislature that the changes could save local governments that operate shelters up to $14 million.

An estimated 600,000 dogs and cats are put to death each year in California, including 34,000 in Los Angeles alone.

The waiting period has caused overcrowding and forced some shelters to kill off animals simply to make room for new ones, said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the state Department of Finance.

"Because of space limitations, the shelters are being forced to euthanize animals who are otherwise highly adoptable immediately after the holding time," Palmer said.

Despite Schwarzenegger's huge popularity, some political observers think the proposal will meet stiff resistance.

"There is no organized constituency of cats and dogs, but certainly the pet owners of America will find this reprehensible," said Barbara O'Connor, director of the Institute for the Study of Politics and Media at California State University, Sacramento.

"Cats and dogs are like mom and apple pie," she said. "Don't mess with the pets. Most people prefer them to other people."

The 1998 law is named for former state Sen. Tom Hayden, who said the governor's proposal "will inflict heartbreak on a lot of owners and people in the animal adoption world:mad: :mad: :mad:

06-25-2004, 02:35 PM
HOLY ****!! :mad:

06-25-2004, 02:52 PM
I don't understand?

He wants pets to have 6 days?

06-25-2004, 03:03 PM
They have 6 days now. He wants to limit that to none for some types of pets and only 3 days for dogs and cats.

And I have heard that there would be no need to 'scan' the animals for microchips either.


06-25-2004, 10:10 PM
Governor Backs Off Controversial Pet Plan

By Robert Salladay and Jason Felch, Times Staff Writers

SACRAMENTO The hectoring barks of thousands of animal lovers convinced Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today to reverse himself and keep California's law protecting stray dogs and cats at shelters.

Schwarzenegger's about-face came after opponents flooded the governor's office with faxes and phone calls and staged a small afternoon protest with about a dozen dogs at the state Capitol.

The governor said that the plan to repeal the law prohibiting the destruction of animals for at least six days was a "mistake'' made when he hastily put together his budget after taking office last year.

"That was an oversight of mine in December when we were trying to put the budget together in two seconds,'' said Schwarzenegger, a self-described animal lover and the owner of three dogs: Sarge, Sammy and Spunky.

"And of course I grew up with every animal you can think of," he said. "I'm an animal lover."

Former state Sen. Tom Hayden - who wrote California's law for dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, turtles, potbellied pigs and others - said he was glad the governor changed his mind.

"So I'm going to put my barking dogs on their leashes and I'm going to counsel the owners of potbellied pigs to call off their intended assault," said Hayden.

Pamelyn Ferdin, spokesperson for the Animal Defense League of Los Angeles, spent today organizing the group's 3,000 members and working with other organizations to plan a statewide protest this weekend.

"The entire humane community is organizing," said Ferdin, whose organization describes itself as a "militant, grass-roots, animal rights" group. "Wherever [Schwarzenegger] goes to speak, we'll be outside with photos showing dead animals, animals being dragged to the kill room."

As part of a cash-saving measure, Schwarzenegger had proposed reversing the so-called Hayden Act, which requires shelters to hold animals for a minimum of six days and forces people convicted of animal cruelty to pay for veterinary costs. The 1998 law also broadly requires the state's shelters to look for adoption homes instead of killing animals with haste.

The governor proposed a change in the law to allow birds, hamsters, potbellied pigs, rabbits, snakes, turtles and other animals that are not cats and dogs to be put to death immediately if the shelter favors that approach, animal rights groups said.

Schwarzenegger also would have eliminated a requirement that people convicted of animal cruelty be prohibited from owning a pet for three years and be forced to pay for medical care for the animals they have mistreated.

Shelters no longer would have been required to search for owners who have embedded microchips in their pets that store addresses and phone numbers.

The Schwarzenegger administration said repealing the Hayden Act could have saved local governments up to $14 million. As proposed, shelters would have been allowed to kill dogs and cats after holding them 72 hours, regardless of whether the shelters were open to the public during those three days.

But animal rights activists believed cats and dogs should not be sacrificed in an effort to save money amid the state's budget shortfall.

"It's sad they would put a price tag on the animals," said Kathy Riordan, a member of the Los Angeles Animal Services Commission and daughter of Schwarzenegger advisor and former Mayor Richard Riordan.

There were signs that Schwarzenegger was aware of how volatile the issue of animal protection could be.

Amid complaints from animal rights groups, the Schwarzenegger administration said it had been working to keep portions of the Hayden Act that do not cost local shelters money, such as requiring pets to be offered to nonprofit rescue groups before they are killed.

H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the state's Department of Finance, said the administration would like to cut costs for local governments but also fix an unintended consequence that local governments said came because of the Hayden Act: overcrowding because shelters must hold even vicious dogs for up to six days. Subsequently, Palmer said, shelters have been forced to kill animals to make room for new animals than come in every day.

Under the current law, animals at shelters must be held at least four business days before the shelter can consider killing them. A stray animal must be kept at least six days if the shelter is open only Monday through Friday and does not offer evening hours.

The optional evening and weekend hours often give owners time to search for lost pets after work and allow nonprofit rescue workers time to search for dogs and cats to offer for adoption themselves. Nonprofit rescue shelters also pay government-run shelters to take cats and dogs and save them from death.

Some lawmakers have said Schwarzenegger should not repeal part of the law that requires people convicted of animal cruelty to pay the veterinary costs of the injured animal. That item is under discussion this week.

"If we repeal that, guess who has to pay for the cost? The taxpayers," said Assemblyman Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys) on Thursday. "We are overturning a policy I think most people would agree with and we are going to be costing the state money."

The state has been struggling with how to close a $15-billion shortfall, and counties and cities have been complaining that lawmakers continually put spending mandates on them without reimbursement. For counties, the requirement to hold cats and dogs has been a complaint since the Hayden Act passed.

Exactly how much local governments are being forced to spend because of the Hayden Act has been the subject of dispute for years. The Commission on State Mandates said two years ago that local governments are owed $79.2 million, a figure the state auditor later said was inflated.

Who pays for state laws about animal shelters is now the subject of a lawsuit and a bill in the Legislature.

Times staff writer Peter Nicholas in Sacramento contributed to this story; Jesus Sanchez handled rewrite in Los Angeles.

06-25-2004, 10:15 PM
Here's the link in the doghouse:
I sent him an email today