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California budget cuts could mean faster euthanizing of strays in shelters

June 3, 2009 |  3:39 pm

Shelter

"Our wallet is empty, our bank is closed and our credit is dried up," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tuesday of the painful budget cuts proposed for programs as diverse as education, healthcare, social services, state parks and prisons. One cut facing California hasn't received as much attention as, say, the proposed closures of 220 parks, reserves and beaches statewide -- but its effects, if enacted, could be even more painful. 

Among the programs on the line are government-funded animal shelters, and the governor's plan calls for a sharp decrease in the amount of time shelters are required to hold strays. The proposal would allow shelters to euthanize stray pets after only three days, down from six, the San Francisco Gate reports.

"Obviously, monies need to come from somewhere, but to do it on the backs of these animals is just really sad," Kiska Icard of the San Francisco SPCA told the Gate, adding that the move, if approved, would result in more euthanizations.

In 2004, Schwarzenegger made a similar proposal, saying cutting the minimum number of days shelters had to keep pets would save the state $14 million annually. But, USA Today wrote, the Governator quickly nixed the idea when it became clear that it wasn't sitting well with constituents.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Dogs at the North Central Animal Shelter, one of six shelters run by the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services. Credit: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times

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