With his state mired in billions of dollars in red ink, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is eager to save every penny he can, even if it means killing a few thousand cats and dogs.
The Hayden Bill, enacted 11 years ago, requires that California shelters provide care to animals for at least six days before euthanizing them. According to a report by the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the state could save $23 million by slashing that mandate in half.
The cost of recovery for each animal adopted is typically paid for via fees, but the LAO claims that keeping these animals alive a few extra days does nothing for their long-term.
"This increased supply of adoptable animals can give households greater choice in selecting a pet to adopt. It does not necessarily mean, however, that more households adopt pets,” reads the report.
Animal lovers like San Francisco Animal Care and Control director Rebecca Katz are predictably outraged.
"The quick and dirty answer is, locally, we don't intend to change our practices on how long we hold a stray animal," the aptly named Katz told SF Weekly. "I don't know that will always be the case, but that is our intention."
Don't think for a minute that Schwarzenegger feels good about the prospect signing so many death warrants.
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“I feel terrible about it,” he told the San Diego Union-Tribune.