Hayden Shelter Campaign Invokes "Sutter"

State dog is dragged into fight over shelter waiting period

By Bill French and Conan Nolan
|  Friday, Jan 27, 2012  |  Updated 6:55 PM PDT
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Governor Brown's proposal to shorten the time stray animals are kept in shelters before euthanasia is under fire from Tom Hayden. And he's using the state's top dog to make a point

Conan Nolan

Governor Brown's proposal to shorten the time stray animals are kept in shelters before euthanasia is under fire from Tom Hayden. And he's using the state's top dog to make a point

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Former California State Senator and longtime activist Tom Hayden has launched a YouTube campaign against Gov. Jerry Brown. Hayden is taking on the governor's plan to repeal legislation Hayden authored back in 1998 on animal shelters.

And he's using the governor's popular Welsh Corgi "Sutter" to make a point.

Sutter may be as popular as the governor in some circles. He makes a cameo appearance in Hayden's YouTube video.

Photo Gallery: Sutter Brown: The First Dog

At issue is a 1998 law that doubled from three to at least six days the waiting period before a shelter animal can be euthanized. Analysts say the law requires the state to reimburse shelters for the care they undergo during that period.

As a result, shelters that fail to adopt out animals actually make money on the deal. Shelters with more successful adoption programs get less money from the state.

Hayden said the problem is with the budget process, and not the shelters.

"The budget incentives are for how many animals you put to death and there are no incentives in the budget for adopting animals out," said Hayden.

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