Wednesday 10 April 2024

Please urgently email California State Assembly Committee to save rescue animals

As an American you can help save the lives of rescue animals now. This is an opportunity for America's animal advocates, cat lovers, dog lovers and others to do something about the killing of rescue animals.

I'm not lecturing people. That's the last thing I want to do. I am simply publicising a way for Americans to do something about reducing the number of rescue animals killed at shelters. I'd do it myself but I believe this method can only be carried out by Americans.

That's because they're going to have to email California's legislature where they are debating a bill called AB 2265. It's a piece of legislation which is passionately supported by Nathan Winograd, American's most influential and most knowledgeable animal shelter expert and animal advocate.

AB 2265 makes it obligatory for shelters to tell the world through social media (normally) that they are going to euthanise an animal and in doing this they offer the chance for others to step in and save that animal by fostering them or adopting them or by another shelter taking them in.

It's a way, as I see it, of shelters giving full warning to others that they going to euthanise an animal rather than doing it in an ad hoc, secretive way which is what happened to Gabriel, a dog.

This is what Nathan Winograd says about Gabriel and his email to me:
Gabriel arrived at a Los Angeles County “shelter” with a probable broken jaw. Rather than provide medical care or contact rescuers for assistance, the staff found it easier to kill him — and that is what they did. The little puppy who should have had his whole life ahead of him would be alive today if AB 2265, which requires pre-killing notification to rescuers, was the law.
Winograd provides an example of the kind of letter you can write to the Assembly Committee which is hearing the bill and to urge them to vote yes on AB 2265. You can use email and therefore to do this will probably take you about 20 minutes and if enough Americans did it it could sway California's legislature to pass this bill and save lives in the years ahead.

Sample email


YES on AB 2265

Sample Body:
AB 2265 would require California shelters to notify adopters and rescuers before killing an animal. Given that such notifications are possible through existing websites, social media, and shelter software already used by these facilities or available for free, complying would require nothing more than a stroke on a keyboard: one click to notify rescuers that a life needs saving. Can the animals and the people who love them count on you to vote YES?

The email is sent to the following:,

I have suggested that Americans generally can do this. I think they can but I'm not entirely sure that Americans in states other than California can be involved in campaigning for this bill in California. I can't see why they can't do it. But if I'm wrong then I apologise.

If I am wrong then this article would be directed at Californians.


Nathan Winograd's email to California's legislature:

The No Kill Advocacy Center’s letter in support of AB 2265:

The Hon. Marc Berman, Chair, and Members
California State Assembly Committee on Business and Professions
1315 10th St
Sacramento, CA 9581

Re: YES on AB 2265, as to be amended

Dear Chair Berman and Committee Members,

The No Kill Advocacy Center urges a Yes vote on AB 2265 (McCarty). 

The bill would increase the number of animals rescued at private expense, instead of killed at public cost, by requiring shelters to post a minimum 24-hour notice of their intent to do so. Since nonprofit organizations often rescue from multiple shelters, rescue particular breeds, are run by people with other jobs, and are foster-care based, AB 2265 gives them notice of animals needing rescue at multiple shelters without having to travel to each one while giving them time to arrange foster care and accept custody of animals before they are killed. 

When animal welfare organizations work collaboratively, more lives are saved, wasteful taxpayer expenditures are reduced, revenues for municipal and private shelters increase, and community economic and social benefits ensue. Shelters would not incur additional costs because shelters can provide notice on an existing website or through social media. These lists can also be created using freely available shelter management software. Indeed, the bill will result in overall savings, as more animals are sent to nonprofit organizations, shifting the cost of care from taxpayer to private philanthropy and eliminating expenses associated with killing animals and disposing of their dead bodies. In addition to direct savings, a University of Denver study of this kind of legislation found a positive economic impact on businesses and increased sales tax revenues due to subsequent spending by rescuers and adopters on those animals. 

The California Animal Welfare Association (“CalAnimals”), a lobbying organization for municipal pounds that kill animals, argues that posting pending “euthanasia” would make them look bad. However, taxpayers have a right to know how their local shelters operate. More importantly, shelters would kill fewer animals, reduce staff workload, stress, and mental suffering, and increase the number of residents who volunteer. Finally, the increasing placement of animals due to the notice would improve their community standing. 

CalAnimals also argues that proposed changes in Food & Agric. Code §17005 removing “adoptable” and “treatable” language would lead to animal suffering, threats to public safety, and overcrowding. This is categorically false, as they are well aware. 

First, the proposed language explicitly excludes irremediably suffering animals. It also adds rigor to the definition of “suffering” as California “shelters” kill animals for highly curable conditions like diarrhea, conjunctivitis (pink eye), and respiratory infections (the human equivalent of a common cold) by calling those conditions untreatable. Indeed, they kill healthy animals.

Second, AB 2265 would not change longstanding state laws regarding dangerous dogs and dogs with a history of vicious behavior. Public safety would not be negatively impacted since these dogs are exempted from the notification and placement requirements. The University of Denver study also concluded that legislation of this type was not only consistent with public safety but also improved it, noting positive impacts on “public health, social capital, and community engagement,” all of which have “important implications for [a community’s] ability to promote and sustain the health and well-being of both its human and non-human animal residents.” 

Third, as policy provisions, these sections do not change legal obligations. These changes are meant to clarify long-standing existing laws that CalAnimals members have intentionally twisted to kill animals despite qualified rescue groups ready, willing, and able to save them. It has also been the subject of several costly lawsuits, all of which the shelters have lost. The changes would eliminate the need to force shelters to comply with existing laws through litigation.

Fourth, AB 2265’s notification requirement is coextensive with the state-mandated holding period of 72 hours. Shelters can give notice during this period, alerting the public that the animals may be killed when the state-mandated holding period expires, adding no additional holding time.

When lobbying organizations resort to knowingly lying to legislators, it is clear any legitimate basis for their opposition is weak to non-existent. None of this is surprising. CalAnimals members have a history of opposing any legislation to improve outcomes in their facilities, including the 1998 Animal Shelter Law (Hayden), which this Committee has historically credited with improving outcomes for shelter animals, including provisions “to increase the number of animals reunited with owners,” establishing “minimum holding periods for all owner-relinquished animals,” releasing “animals slated for euthanasia to rescue groups upon request,” providing for “prompt and necessary veterinary care, nutrition, and shelter,” and more. 

These improvements were passed over the opposition of the California Animal Welfare Association (then known as the California Animal Control Directors Association and State Humane Association) and its members (who currently constitute opposition to AB 2265). And they were passed overwhelmingly by supermajorities in both houses because it made no sense to legislators that animals who could be saved were being killed. We urge current Assemblymembers to do the same. The status quo these organizations champion is unacceptable.

Mr. Berman and Committee Members, despite California being the wealthiest state in the country (if it were a country in and of itself, it would be the fourth largest economy in the world) and priding itself on being progressive, the 72-hour holding period currently in effect is the lowest of any other state, with one exception. In addition, since the holding period runs on a 24-hour cycle, much of the holding period can be used up when the shelter is closed in the evening and often on weekends. This leaves animals precious little time to get out alive. Not surprisingly, California kills more animals than any other state except Texas. Indeed, a recent report found that “Five states account for half of all cats and dogs killed in U.S. animal shelters: California, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Alabama.” California joins that ignoble list precisely because animals in our shelters have so few protections. AB 2265 is an important step to remedy this. 

It is a win for animals, shelter staff, rescuers, volunteers, adopters, taxpayers, municipalities, and local businesses. We urge a YES vote.

Very truly yours,
Nathan J. Winograd


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are always welcome.

Featured Post

i hate cats

i hate cats, no i hate f**k**g cats is what some people say when they dislike cats. But they nearly always don't explain why. It appe...

Popular posts