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Animal advocates ask Gov. Jerry Brown to preserve shelter law

February 23, 2012 | 12:24 pm

Sutter
Animal activists are stepping up their campaign to save the state's shelter law.

On Thursday, a Palm Springs attorney delivered a petition with more than 45,000 signatures to Gov. Jerry Brown's office, asking the state's chief executive not to repeal provisions of the 1998 law that lengthened the amount of time shelters must hold stray and abandoned pets before euthanizing them. Brown has said that shortening the hold period from six days to three would save the state about $46 million per year.

Activists, led by attorney Marla Tauscher, noted that the law has been suspended since 2009 and is not costing the state money.

"The situation for shelter animals is bad enough now," the Change.org petition reads. "Why ensure that it remains that way in the future as well? ...California's homeless animals deserve better."

Brown was out of state, visiting Washington, D.C., to meet with President Obama and attend the winter meeting of the National Governors Assn.

The petition is the latest part of a public campaign to preserve the mandate.

Last month, former state Sen. Tom Hayden, the shelter law's author, released a YouTube video in which he appealed directly to Brown, whose dog, Sutter, is a popular fixture on the Capitol grounds.

"I urge you to look at your dog before you allow this bill that protects animals to die," Hayden said in the online video.

Later, a group of cat lovers called the Stray Cat Alliance accused Brown of "putting pets on death row."

Earlier this month, Brown spokesman Gil Duran told The Times that local animal shelters were free to hold pets as long as they want before euthanizing them, but that "the state just can’t pay them back any longer. Many tough cuts are being made –- to the elderly, to children, to the poor."

The administration has also cited a 2008 report from the legislative analyst's office that found "no evidence" that longer holding periods had resulted in increased adoptions, the intent of the law.

RELATED:

Animal shelter mandate rewards shelters that kill most animals?

Animal advocates blast Gov. Brown for ‘putting pets on death row’

Activist Tom Hayden asks Gov. Jerry Brown to consider his dog (Video)

-- Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento

Twitter.com/mjmishak

Photo: First dog Sutter, on a stroll in Sacramento with Gov. Jerry Brown and his wife, Anne Gust Brown. Animal activists are asking Brown to save the state's shelter law. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

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