Rally Asks Legislators to “Paws and Think” Before Allowing Repeal of Shelter Law

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Animal welfare organizations and public officials joined together today to ask California lawmakers not to repeal the Hayden Law, with its lifesaving protections for shelter animals.


The East Bay SPCA, of Oakland, California joined Alameda County Supervisors Nate Miley and Wilma Chan, and other animal welfare agencies at a rally today to tell state legislators to spare California animals and save the Hayden Law. The rally took place at 10:00 a.m. in front of the County of Alameda Administration Building, 1221 Oak Street, Oakland. The theme of the rally was to ask state legislators to “Paws and Think” before repealing this important law.

The rally was followed by a Board of Supervisors meeting at 10:30 a.m. on the 5th floor in Room 512 of the Alameda County Administration Building. The meeting included the opportunity for public comment from concerned residents as well as a resolution urging the Governor and State Legislature to not eliminate life-saving mandates for lost and stray animals.

Governor Jerry Brown has proposed repealing the Hayden Law, which ensures that California shelters keep stray or abandoned animals for a minimum of four to six days before euthanizing an animal, and provide all animals with necessary and prompt veterinary care. In return, the state is required to provide reimbursement for the increased costs incurred by shelters in the performance of those duties. The Governor has proposed reducing the required holding period for stray and abandoned animals to just 72 hours and chipping away at the requirement that sick and injured animals receive life-saving veterinary care.

East Bay SPCA Executive Director Allison Lindquist says the Governor’s proposal will result in more euthanasia of families lost pets and increased suffering of stray and abandoned animals. “There has been so much progress for animals in California’s shelters since this law became effective. A repeal of this law would be a huge step backwards. Our sick and vulnerable animals deserve so much more,” Lindquist explains.

Lindquist serves as a board member of the State Humane Association of California (SHAC). SHAC, along with the California Animal Control Directors Association (CACDA) urge the Governor to suspend — rather than repeal — the animal adoption mandate if the state is simply unable to fund the mandate in the upcoming year.

Both organizations advocate for a working group of California’s sheltering leaders to convene to explore viable alternatives. The working group would also be tasked with evaluating outcomes in the twelve years since enactment of the legislation.

The East Bay SPCA (EBSPCA) is a nonprofit organization committed to the welfare of cats and dogs in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. They say of their mission, “We strive to eliminate animal cruelty, neglect and overpopulation by providing programs and education that support people and companion animals.”

For more on this story see Cat Group Opposes Repeal of California’s Life Saving Hayden Shelter Law

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