The Terminator kills proposal to terminate animals sooner
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2004:
SACRAMENTO–“I realized last night that I made a mistake on
the budget,” California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted at a
hastily convened June 26 press conference. “My daughter called me.
I have reinstated the six-day waiting period for lost animals,”
Schwarzenegger spoke 24 hours after media revealed that his fiscal
2004-2005 budget included repealing the 1968 Hayden Act. Humane
organizations responded almost immediately, but irate individual
citizens were already flooding the Capitol with messages of protest.
The Hayden Act requires shelters to hold impounded animals
for at least six business days before killing them, unless they are
deemed incurably injured, ill, or vicious. The Hayden Act also
requires that impounded animals be scanned for microchip
identification, and bars animal abusers from adopting shelter
animals within three years of conviction.
Schwarzenegger had initially endorsed a December 2003
recommendation by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office that
the holding time for dogs and cats be cut back to 72 hours, the
pre-Hayden requirement, and that there be no required holding time
at all for small mammals, reptiles, and livestock. Facing a budget
deficit of $15 billion, the Legislative Analyst’s Office advised
that repealing the Hayden Act could save the state $10 million a year
in reimbursements paid to animal control shelters.
When introduced, the Hayden Act was opposed by many animal
control agencies, especially in the southern half of the state. The
proposed repeal was strongly endorsed by PETA, but other former
critics of the act rallied to defend it.
Repealing Hayden “is not the way to address the serious
financial concerns of the state,” said Humane Society of the U.S.
director of sheltering issues Kate Pullen.
Marin Humane Society spokesperson Sheri Cardo told John M.
Hubbell of the San Francisco Chronicle that MHS and many other
shelters would probably continue to operate as if the Hayden Act was
Maddie’s Fund executive director Richard Avanzino, who
championed the passage of the Hayden Act while he was president of
the San Francisco SPCA, told ANIMAL PEOPLE that the support for the
bill from former opponents was among the most encouraging experiences
he had enjoyed in 28 years of leading humane organizations.
“People were surprised,” Avanzino said. “They found out
that the public supports saving animals’ lives. “
Said Animal Legislative Action Network director Rich
McLellan, M.D., “The governor changed his mind because
[Californians] put their personal lives aside for just long enough to
bring state government to a momentary standstill while the governor
tried to figure out what happened. An aide with many years of
experience in the Capitol said, ‘No one has ever seen anything like