In 1998 the Hayden Act was passed, guaranteeing animals would be held in a public shelter 4-6 business days and provided with medical benefits. The bill
set forth the findings of the legislature with respect to animal shelters,lost or stray animals, and neuter programs, declaring the policy of the state with respect to adoptable and treatable animals.This bill extended the “minimum holding time for animals impounded by California public agencies from 72 hours to 4-6 business days.” This came into effect because animal advocates were not satisfied with the 72 hour hold that was first enacted due to budget cuts in 1972.However, Governor Brown has recently proposed repealing the Hayden Act, which would mean that the shelters would only be required to hold animals for 72 consecutive hours and would not be required to treat any animals with any form of medical assistance. This would mean that shelters would be forced to rescind to the old law from 1972, so instead of taking a step forward in animal justice, the state would be taking a step back to where it began.Governor Brown's supporting argument consists of “saving the state an approximation of $23 million.” Animal shelters’ hold should not be minimized because these are thousands of lives at risk that would not receive a fair exposure to get fostered, adopted or rescued.
Dogs are not given a timer which indicates when they will be euthanized; their spot can be given to another animal at any moment if they show an act of aggression, are in poor condition or overcrowding occurs at the shelter. When space is available, animal shelters give lost pets the priority to stay a little longer in hopes that their owner will claim them, but just like strays, nothing is guaranteed.
In many cases animals are fortunate enough to get adopted in the 4-6 business days, but likewise there are a vast amount of animals who get “put down” while not having the opportunity to get adopted just because not enough people have seen them. Along with stray animals, animals with owners also run the same risk of being euthanized. According to Laura Fulda , Director of Marketing and Development of the East Bay SPCA, “ many people do not realize their pets are missing for a few days and they do not reunite owners with their animals after several months or even years.” Seconding her statement, Francis Battista, co-founder of the Best Friends Animal Society, told NBC Los Angeles, “You could go away on Friday; your dog could get out. It’s a long weekend and you don’t get back until Tuesday and by then your dog is dead. Three days is not a long time to reclaim your animal.” No animal stray or owned would be safe if the Hayden act were to be repealed.
It takes most potential adopters less than “70 seconds to evaluate a dog in the kennel and many only check out about a third of the dogs available.” The short holding period could result in less-adoptable pets, like senior dogs or dogs with health issues, being euthanized before they could be given a second chance by a rescue group or potential adopter. The 72-hour timeframe would make it difficult for rescues to arrange saving even young, healthy dogs.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), statistics show that each year approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized in each state. If these are the statistics with a 4-6 business days hold, the increase will be drastic if the hold is changed to 72 hours.Animal shelter holds should not be minimized because these are thousands of lives at risk that are not receiving a fair exposure to get fostered, adopted or rescued.Animals are a human's best companion, so let's pay it forward and speak on their behalf by signing this petition. Together we can stop Governor Brown's proposal and give animals the justice they deserve.
Sign below to demand that these animals’ lives be given just as much consideration, and to prevent any unjust policies regarding the shelter holds.