Animal Shelter's No-Kill Policy Vs. CA's Increased Euthanizations
With recent controversy surrounding animal protection in California shelters, the non-profit ARC is a small spot of hope. The one-year-old center has a no-kill policy for all of its animals.
The policy is one that is hard to come by in the state, especially with the pending repeal by Gov. Jerry Brown on the Hayden law stating that an animal must have six days in the shelter before being euthanized. If the repeal were to take effect, animal shelters would only have to keep an animal for three days before euthanizing them.
Alex Ieakyrklund, a full-time volunteer and managing director at ARC said that the repeal of the Hayden law won’t have a major impact because it’s not something that was implemented well in the first place due to minimal regulation, but is still a negative policy.
“Jerry Brown’s repeal is not a good thing because it gives animal shelters the permission to euthanize quickly and it will be legal and acceptable,” Ieakyrklund said.
The center’s ultimate goal is to imitate a human hospital when treating animals and pets.
“What human hospitals do first is stabilize," she said. "They don’t do that in animal hospitals. If the owner can’t pay for a procedure, the first suggestion by veterinarians is to euthanize. But here, we treat first, payment comes later.”
She said that the best payment here at the shelter is just knowing that an animal that was otherwise going to die is alive and loved.
Gov. Brown justified the repeal by claiming that it will save the state $46 million annually.
Dr. Salah Seleh, the owner of the ARC, said that medical costs are the most expensive aspect of a shelter. Together with Ieakyrklund, they have formed partnerships with local rescue organizations to lower the cost of medical treatments of animals in order to save money.
ARC partners with numerous organizations such as Stray Cat Alliance and Adopt a Chow. Their adoption rates for dogs are considered extremely high.
These organizations, as well as public figures like former Sen. Tom Hayden, have voiced opposition against repealing the law.
A petition of more than 45,000 signatures was delivered to the governor’s office Thursday, in hopes of influencing his decision.
Hayden, in a video message to Gov. Brown, attempted to convince the governor to reflect on his own life before going through with the repeal.
“I urge you to look at your dog before you allow this bill that protects animal to die,” Hayden said.
Reach contributor Sammi Wong here.