Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


No-Kill Movement  No-Kill Legislation https://www.maddiesfund.org/what-is-no-kill.htm

Hayden Law: An Analysis by UCLA Law Professor Taimie Bryant, Ph.D.

Chapter 752, Statutes of 1998 (SB 1785, introduced by Senator Hayden: To reduce the killing of shelter animals; facilitates reunification of animals with their caregivers, increases shelter holding periods and enables rescue groups to take shelter animals scheduled for death)

Chapter 752 addresses problems of lost and homeless animals who may be picked up by individuals, private shelters, rescue groups, or public shelters.

Too Many Shelter Deaths
Chapter 752 was premised on facts that indicated a needlessly high (and expensive) kill rate in our animal shelters. Aware that Assembly Member Vincent's bill to promote spay/neuter had already been introduced in the Legislature, Senator Hayden sought to address the problem of excessive, routinized killing of companion animals already born but caught in a system that results too easily in their deaths. His chosen task was to identify ways in which individuals who find pets, shelters which impound pets, and rescue groups which try to find pets new homes could be made to work more efficiently together for the good of animals, their companion humans, and taxpayers interested in saving revenues being spent for avoidable killing in our shelters.

The Complexity of the Problem
The problem is complex. Finders of lost pets fear taking them to shelters because of the high probability that the pets will be killed. Yet there haven’t always been well-maintained or utilized boards for posting lost/found notices. Finders fear having no way of reuniting lost pets with owners or growing too attached to the lost pet only to have to turn it in to a shelter anyway because they were unable to find the owner. Owners of lost pets have had trouble finding their pets because so many shelters have been open only during the time that owners are at work. Even if an owner manages to get to the shelter, it has been hard to locate animals because of poor record keeping and because animals may be moved around within the system. Moreover, the time limit for finding a lost pet has been very short--72 hours from the "time of capture." Over time shelter personnel had begun to think of all owners as irresponsible because of the misery they observed. The idea of helping owners find their lost pets or find new homes for abandoned or lost pets has seemed futile to shelter personnel overwhelmed with so many animals. Rescue groups, still optimistic about finding homes for shelter animals, have been frustrated by lack of cooperation from shelter personnel; shelter personnel have been frustrated by rescue groups' requests for more humane treatment of animals and cooperation with adoption programs. Few volunteers or fundraisers have wanted to help shelters kill more companion animals. Yet, killing these animals and disposing of their bodies is expensive.

Read more: Hayden Law & No-Kill Legislation con't

No-Kill Movement

No-Kill Legislation  Hayden Law Update

“Six years ago, then California State Senator Tom Hayden introduced legislation to move California’s animal shelter system further in the direction of saving, rather than taking, animals’ lives.” So begins “The Uncertain Present and Future of the Hayden Shelter Reform Legislation of 1998” by UCLA Law Professor, Taimie Bryant.

Welcomed by some, castigated by others, the Hayden legislation has gone down a rocky road over the past six years. The law has been ignored, misapplied and brought before the Commission on State Mandates through a “test claim” filed by the County of Los Angeles. It’s also been responsible for saving thousands of lives.

As a result
of the Commission’s findings, the Legislature has suspended the “holding period” portion of the law for the current fiscal year. Legislative provisions that have not been suspended include:

  • the requirement that shelters give owner-relinquished animals who aren’t suffering irremediably an opportunity for adoption or redemption instead of killing them immediately
  • the requirement that shelters release animals to Internal Revenue Code sec. 501(c)(3) animal rescue and adoption groups that have requested an animal prior to his/her euthanasia
  • the statewide policy preference for adoption and owner-redemption
  • the explicit provision that shelters, including public shelters, are “depositaries of living animals” responsible for treating those animals “kindly”
  • the requirement of pre or post-seizure (of one’s animal) hearings if an owner requests one.
  • the requirement that shelters use all reasonable means of checking for owner-identification

In the meantime, California’s Department of Finance has filed a lawsuit contesting the Commission on State Mandates decision and the Bureau on State Audits is questioning some of the Commission’s findings as well.

October 26, 2012 California Court of Appeals Says Pets are More Than Inanimate Property

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