Friday, April 13, 2007

AB 1634 Hearing Report - A Guest Blog

Tina V - a tenacious champion for common sense compassion - represented BAD RAP in Sacramento this past Tuesday to voice our support for AB 1634. She reports on her experience in the capital:

When it comes to our pets, we are an emotional lot. Passions run high, and rightfully so, as they are more than ‘animals’ to us, they are friends, confidants. They comfort us when we are down and no day is so bad that a wagging tail, a sloppy kiss, or a silly antic can not bring a smile to our face.

On this, everyone at the hearing on AB 1634 was in complete agreement. Where opinions diverged was on how we, the lucky recipients of this unconditional adoration, could best help THEM.

For myself, the hearing was a very surreal experience. Back to that same room where SB 861 was originally heard, back to that very circus-like atmosphere of high running emotions. This time, it was so nice not to have the day tempered by fear, as it was back in summer 2005. That not-so-distant dark day of the past did help to remind me that the people who were there in opposition might be feeling a little like I was back then.

So, what happened? Well, we get to do this all again on April 24th. A couple of things in the bill need clarification before it goes to vote. (This, is a GOOD thing, since there sure was a LOT of misinformation flying about!)

We already know that nearly a MILLION pets enter California’s shelters each year, and of those nearly 500,000 are euthanized (in other words, KILLED - albeit humanely - at tax payer expense) forcing state and local governments to spend a quarter of a billion dollars each year to intake nearly one million unwanted animals, ultimately killing over half. Now, if you are like me, and spend most, if not all, of your money on your pets, this number is pretty mind-boggling. Imagine what we could do if we had that amount to spend on responsible dog ownership education.

The money isn’t the issue for me, as it may not be for you. The fact that 500,000 companion animals die each year for lack of a home in our state IS. Can you even picture how many dogs and cats that actually is? It’s 4 times as many as the entire population of the town I grew up in. These 500,000 dogs and cats - faceless and nameless to some - are our own pets, or were someone’s at some point. At one point, many of them waited eagerly to lick away those frustrations of a hectic day. Somewhere along the line, they became lost, or too much of a nuisance, or the people who were supposed to look out for them decided to move, get married, or have a baby. They became, somehow, disposable. Somehow, they no longer seem to matter.

They matter to me, and if they matter to you, I urge you write to Assemblyman Lloyd Levine and let him know that you care. Please tell him that you agree we need to stop using euthanasia as an acceptable means to control pet overpopulation.

Assemblyman Lloyd Levine
State Capitol
PO Box 942849
Sacramento, Ca 94249-0040

Tina V
News Report from April 10
More Info on the CA Healthy Pets Act Bill

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