The Dismantling of The Hayden Law – a message from Robert at Bound Angels
The Dismantling of The Hayden Law
In the late 1990′s Senator Tom Hayden sponsored a bill that would give pets in our shelters a little better chance at finding homes. The bill became law in 1997 under Governor Pete Wilson.
Governor Jerry Brown is considering some major modifications, essentially tearing the heart out of the bill in an effort to save funds. Please read my email below with my comments to the modifications. Then please call the Governor’s office as well as Senator Mark Leno and Assembly Member Bob Blumenfield… their numbers follow below as well.
This is one of the most important laws, if we lose it or any part of it, it will mean the death of thousands of pets… Thank you for your continued support!The utter dismantling of The Haden Law is a death sentence to countless thousands of animals at risk in the California shelter system. The modifications of this law will remove the most important and primary rights that animals need to stand a chance at rescue and adoption. I have seen the benefits of this law first hand and am enraged that the topic to dismantle this law is even a discussion by our Governor and elected officials.
In order to give you a better idea of the dangers of this law, please see the text of the law below and my explanations that follow… Please note the crossed out text is what is currently law, it will be removed if Governor Brown gets his way. The underlined words are the additions. My comments ***follow each section in bold italics:
1834. A depositary of living animals shall provide the animals with necessary
and prompt veterinary care, nutrition, and shelter, and treat them kindly. Any depositary that fails to perform these duties may be liable for civil damages as provided by law. 1846.(a) A gratuitous depositary must use, at least, slight care for thepreservation of the thing deposited.(b) A gratuitous depositary of a living animal shall provide the animal withnecessary and prompt veterinary care, adequate nutrition and, water, and shelter, and
*** Basically and clearly stated: necessary and prompt veterinary care is no longer required
SEC. 4. Section 31108 of the Food and Agricultural Code is amended to read:31108. (a) The required holding period for a stray dog impounded pursuant to this division shall be six business days, not including the day of impoundment, except as follows: 72 hours from the time of capture.
*** Reducing the state mandated hold time from 6 days to 3 days is a death sentence for ANY and ALL animals 72 hours after arriving at the shelter. This means, people will have less time to find their pets in the shelter and the law will allow these animals to be destroyed / killed. Animals awaiting adoption or rescue will no longer be safe past the 72 hours after they arrive. Remember, shelters are not open 24 hours a day – that means even the hours the shelter is closed is a ticking clock.
(1) If the public or private shelter has made the dog available for ownerredemption on one weekday evening until at least 7 p.m.. or one weekend day, the holding period shall be four business days, not including the day of impoundment. (2) If the public or private shelter has fewer than three full-time employees oris not open during all regular weekday business hours, and if it has established a procedure to enable owners to reclaim their dogs by appointment at a mutually agreeable time when the public or private shelter would otherwise be closed, the holding period shall be four business days, not including the day of impoundment. *** Item 1 and 2 continues in the abolition of more time available for owner pickup.
31752. (a) The required holding period for a stray cat impounded pursuant to this division shall be six business days, not including the day of impoundment, except as follows: 72 hours from the time of capture.
*** This section spells out the same fate for cats..
(c) Notwithstanding Section 31752, if an apparently feral cat has not beenreclaimed by its owner or caretaker within the first three days of the required holding period, shelter personnel qualified to verify the temperament of the animal shall verify whether it is feral or tame by using a standardized protocol. If the a cat is determined to be docile or a frightened or difficult tame cat, the cat shall be held for the entire required holding period specified in Section 31752.
*** This section tears into the rights of cats that may be frightened. These cats can be killed because shelter personnel will be able to label them feral and destroy them.
…and for the best part – 32003. All public pounds and private shelters shall keep accurate records oneach animal taken up, medically treated, or impounded. The records shall include all of the following information and any other information required by the California Veterinary Medical Board:(a) The date the animal was taken up, medically treated, euthanized, orimpounded.(b) The circumstances under which the animal was taken up, medically treated,euthanized, or impounded.(c) The names of the personnel who took up, medically treated, euthanized, orimpounded the animal.(d) A description of any medical treatment provided to the animal and the nameof the veterinarian of record.(e) The final disposition of the animal, including the name of the person whoeuthanized the animal or the name and address of the adopting party. These recordsshall be maintained for three years after the date the animal’s impoundment ends.
*** Striking this section virtually removes all accountability from shelter for record keeping. Which means, the animals destroyed never really existed. NONE… no record keeping which, by the way is REQUIRED BY THE CALIFORNIA MEDICAL BOARD!
Remember, striking this law is not just about saving shelter dogs, cats and other pets, it is about the basic rights of any pet living in California. If your pet gets lost or impounded, it can be killed under this law. Furthermore, allowing the partial dismantling of this law opens the floodgates to continue to abolish the rights of pets under the flawed guise of cutting state spending. There are countless places spending can be cut without putting our pets at risk. On a closing note, the proposed “monetary” savings would amount to $23 million, which is less than 2/10ths of 1% of our $13 BILLION deficit. What is a pet’s life worth???
Urge Governor Brown and your local representatives to think twice.
Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160
Senator Mark Leno
Chair, Senate Budget & Fiscal Review Committee
Assembly member Bob Blumenfield
Chair, Assembly Budget Committee