Animal advocates ask Gov. Jerry Brown to preserve 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."
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.
-- Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento
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