Friday, June 25

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pal to the Critters

Some alert folks found something in the new California budget which Governor Gropenator is trying to push through.

Seems when Arnold's pal Pete Wilson was governor, he passed the Hayden Law (named for Tom). In a Humane Society press release from 1999:

"One provision increased to six days the length of time a stray animal must be held for their legal guardian to "find" and redeem them, unless the shelter is open until 7 pm one weekday evening or the animal is held through one weekend day. The six-day requirement will replace the state's current law of 72 hours, making it easier for working people to look for their lost companion."
Now, I'm no PETA-style fanatic. In fact, if I have to sit at a dinner table across from a PETA member who goes into graphic detail about the treatment of ponies at parks one more time while I'm trying to eat, violence will break out. (Issues, Hoff?) But if the new budget passes, here's what to expect...

The two most disturbing elements of the Governor's budget are the return of the animal holding period to only 72 hours for all animals (stray and relinquished) and the elimination of the requirement that shelters seek veterinary care for animals at the shelter.

Among the other policies that will be repealed if the current budget is adopted:
- The requirement that people convicted of cruelty to animals to pay for the costs of the animals' care while the issue of guilt is being determined.
- The requirement that as a condition of probation, people convicted of animal cruelty can be prevented from owning animals for three years.
- The law that made it a duty for shelters to use all currently acceptable methods of identification - including microchips - to determine the lawful owner of any seized or impounded animals.
- The State's policy preference for adoption instead of killing animals.
- The requirement that shelters allow qualified animal adoption/rescue groups to take responsibility for animals if they pay the required fee.
- The requirement that shelters give owner-relinquished animals a chance to be adopted.
This is pretty insane. L.A.'s KLOS Radio is spearheading a campaign to remove this infection from the state budget, with email links and phone numbers. Check it out.