Governor Jerry Brown to Repeal Euthanasia Law
February 13, 2012
Governor Jerry Brown is considering a repeal of the current California euthanasia law, which would guarantee a hastened death for thousands of shelter animals each year.
The existing legislation, nicknamed the “Hayden Law” for its author, political activist and former state Senator Tom Hayden, requires that state shelters allow at least four to six days for incarcerated animals to be adopted and provided needed medical care before considering euthanasia.
The law also mandates that shelters schedule their operation hours to allow working people a chance to adopt or seek their missing companion animals on weekends.
Prior to the legislation’s 1999 passage, a mere 72-hour minimum was required before putting an animal to death, and a reported 165,000 dogs, cats, and other shelter animals were euthanized each year within Los Angeles County alone.
In a video message released last week by Dog Park Media, Hayden literally pleaded with Governor Brown to call off the repeal. “I urge you to look at your dog before you allow this bill that protects animals to die.”
Brown claims Hayden’s Law to be “costly and ineffective” because the number of adoptive families has failed to increase since its creation.
He also argues that the law is unfairly weighted toward shelters with low adoption rates. Brown has proposed a series of alterations to the law, one of which would provide budget incentives to shelters not for the number of animals they adopt out, but for the amount that are euthanized.
“Other states also face economic challenges,” argues Nathan Winograd, director of California's No Kill Advocacy Center, “but instead of gutting animal protection laws, they are expanding them."
"When it comes to protecting animals in shelters, California is far from generous. Turning the clock back almost 15 years as the Governor proposes is unconscionable," Winograd says.
Photo courtesy of Bev Sykes via Flickr