Hayden Urges Governor Brown To Not Kill Shelter Animals

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California’s budget crisis has inflicted an enormous amount of suffering on millions of California families. But its worst victims are likely to be the hundreds of thousands of animals that enter the state’s shelters every year.

According to recent media reports, Governor Jerry Brown is planning to propose a repeal of key provisions of a 1998 law written by legendary political activist and former State Senator Tom Hayden to protect shelter animals in California from premature euthanasia and increase their chances for adoption.

The “Hayden Law” requires shelters to wait at least four to six days before killing an animal, rather than the 72 hour minimum that prevailed prior to 1999. It also requires California shelters to schedule their operating hours to allow working people to visit during weekends and evenings so that they can find their missing companion animals or adopt an animal that would otherwise be put to death, and mandates that animals be provided needed veterinary care.

Repealing the law would do away with all of these basic protections, consigning countless animals to death. Sadly, this heartless remedy is what passes for a practical solution in today’s fiscal and political climate.

In a video message to Governor Jerry Brown released this week by Dog Park Media, Tom Hayden urges California Governor Jerry Brown to leave intact the law he wrote over a decade ago.

“The cost of (repeal) is to put countless dogs and cats to death,” says Hayden in the video.

Addressing the Governor, Hayden continues, “I urge you to look at your dog before you allow this bill that protects animals to die.”

Nathan Winograd, director of the California-based No Kill Advocacy Center and author of Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation & The No Kill Revolution in America, agrees.

“Other states also face economic challenges,” Winograd told me. “But instead of gutting animal protection laws, they are expanding them. When it comes to protecting animals in shelters, California is far from generous. Turning the clock back almost 15 years as the Governor proposes is unconscionable.”

Dog Park is circulating an online petition to accompany the video, calling on Governor Brown “not to kill thousands of innocent shelter animals” to solve the state’s budget woes:


These animals have nothing to do with California’s budget shortfall and it is wrong to kill them to solve our fiscal problems.


About the RESCUED video series: RESCUED is an online micro-documentary video series about people who love animals so deeply that they devote their lives to rescuing and protecting them. The series is produced by Dog Park Media and run regularly on Life With Dogs and the Huffington Post.

4 thoughts on “Hayden Urges Governor Brown To Not Kill Shelter Animals”

  1. The treatment of animals is as important as the treatment of humans. They are tied together. The well being of each insure and equal the well being of the other.
    If it becomes expedient to kill animals it also becomes expedient to mistreat humans and perhaps to kill them as well.
    Both are violence and this kind of violence is very high in this country. More violence will only bring more violence.
    Jerry Brown, as a Buddhist you should be ashamed of yourself.

    • I couldn’t have said it better. We have to do something to help the governor see how wrong this is. They are live beings. What about mandatory spay and neuter? anything but killing them

  2. no animal cats or dogs in any shelter should not be killed.
    its wrong, its cruel. you ppl treat them like there prisoners.
    its against Gods nature. how would you like it if someone took
    your pet and killed it?


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