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Tags arnold schwarzenegger , California politics

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Old 28th June 2004, 08:27 AM   #1
Dorian Gray
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Schwarzeneggar the puppy killer

Arnold wants to make it easier to kill your puppies, kittens, hamsters, etc.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...ingpetadoption
Quote:
Governor Wants to Repeal Law Favoring Pet Adoption

Fri Jun 25, 7:55 AM ET
Add Top Stories - Los Angeles Times to My Yahoo!

By Robert Salladay Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO In his brief political career, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (news - web sites) has challenged powerful state unions, prison guards and wealthy American Indian tribes alike. But now he is up against a group with far greater numbers and a louder voice: animal lovers.

Schwarzenegger wants to repeal California's comprehensive law forcing animal shelters to hold stray cats and dogs up to six days before killing them, a budget-cutting move that has enraged pet adoption groups.

As a favor to the state's cash-poor counties and cities, Schwarzenegger has asked the state Legislature to reverse the 1998 law, which makes adoption of wayward pets the first priority of shelters instead of quickly putting them to death. The law is dubbed the Hayden Act, after former Santa Monica state senator and activist Tom Hayden.

"This is an issue that affects the care and protection of tens of thousands of stray animals, and will inflict heartbreak on a lot of owners and people in the animal adoption world," Hayden said Thursday.

Few issues can incite animal lovers more than the abuse or killing of pets. Los Angeles' animal services director, Jerry Greenwalt, retired in April after protesters vandalized his house and spray-painted "murderer" on his car. Claiming the city killed too many animals, protesters also picketed the San Pedro home of Mayor James K. Hahn (only to be targeted themselves by Hahn's neighbors, armed with squirt guns.)

Many experienced politicians say it is best to either be an advocate for animals or stay clear of the issue.

"There is no organized constituency of cats and dogs, but certainly the pet owners of America will find this reprehensible," said Barbara O'Connor, director of the Institute for the Study of Politics and Media at Cal State Sacramento.

"Cats and dogs are like mom and apple pie. Don't mess with the pets. Most people prefer them to other people."

Hahn, in fact, announced last year that the city would stop killing animals by 2008, but Los Angeles continues to put to death cats, dogs and other animals that are not adopted. The city handles more than 60,000 animals each year and kills about 34,000, or 54%. An estimated 600,000 dogs and cats are put to death each year statewide.

The Schwarzenegger administration said repealing the Hayden Act could save local governments up to $14 million. As proposed, shelters would be allowed to kill dogs and cats after holding them just 72 hours, regardless of whether the shelters are open to the public during those three days.

But animal rights activists believe cats and dogs should not be sacrificed in an effort to save money amid the state's budget shortfall.

"It's sad they would put a price tag on the animals," said Kathy Riordan, a member of the Los Angeles Animal Services Commission and daughter of Schwarzenegger advisor and former Mayor Richard Riordan.

Schwarzenegger has proposed a change in the law to allow birds, hamsters, potbellied pigs, rabbits, snakes, turtles and other animals that are not cats and dogs to be put to death immediately after capture if the shelter favors that approach, animal rights groups said. Currently, a minimum six-day window covers all animals, but the protections for everything but cats and dogs would be eliminated under the changes.

Schwarzenegger also would eliminate a requirement that people convicted of animal cruelty be prohibited from owning a pet for three years and be forced to pay for medical care for the animals they have mistreated.

Shelters no longer would be required to search for owners who have embedded microchips in their pets that store addresses and phone numbers.

There are signs that Schwarzenegger has a growing understanding of how volatile the issue of animal protection can be.

Amid complaints from animal rights groups, the Schwarzenegger administration said it has been working to keep portions of the Hayden Act that do not cost local shelters money, such as requiring pets to be offered to nonprofit rescue groups before they are killed.



Schwarzenegger's aides are expected to meet soon with animal rights groups and local governments to reach a compromise on the issue before the 2004-05 state budget is approved by the Legislature, perhaps as soon as this weekend.

H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the state's Department of Finance, said the administration would like to cut costs for local governments but also fix an unintended consequence that local governments said came because of the Hayden Act: overcrowding because shelters must hold even vicious dogs for up to six days. Subsequently, Palmer said, shelters have been forced to kill animals to make room for new animals than come in every day.

"Because of space limitations, the shelters are being forced to euthanize animals who are otherwise highly adoptable immediately after the holding time," Palmer said, "whereas before that they could use some discretion and delay that."

Pet adoption and animal rights groups said repeal of the Hayden Act would sacrifice protections for animals in order to save cities and counties money, although exactly how much money is being disputed. But many also said they do not believe Schwarzenegger would purposely advocate killing animals sooner to save local budgets.

"They are attempting to cut this budget with a hatchet instead of a scalpel, and they are not thinking rationally," said Rich McLellan, director of the Animal Legislative Action Network in Los Angeles and a consultant on the 1998 legislation.

Jennifer Fearing, director of programs for United Animal Nations in Sacramento, said the Hayden Act managed to move California to fairly reasonable shelter standards certainly not groundbreaking and ending the law would set California back. "It wasn't like we revolutionized things," she said, "but we greatly improved the status of animals in shelters, and we focused on a policy of not killing animals. This undoes all of that."

Under the current law, animals at shelters must be held at least four business days before the shelter can consider killing them. A stray animal must be kept at least six days if the shelter is open only Monday through Friday and does not offer evening hours.

The optional evening and weekend hours often give owners time to search for lost pets after work and allow nonprofit rescue workers time to search for dogs and cats to offer for adoption themselves. Nonprofit rescue shelters also pay government-run shelters to take cats and dogs and save them from death.

Some lawmakers say Schwarzenegger should not repeal part of the law that requires people convicted of animal cruelty to pay the veterinary costs of the injured animal. That item is under discussion this week.

"If we repeal that, guess who has to pay for the cost? The taxpayers," said Assemblyman Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys). "We are overturning a policy I think most people would agree with and we are going to be costing the state money."

The state has been struggling with how to close a $15-billion shortfall, and counties and cities have been complaining that lawmakers continually put spending mandates on them without reimbursement. For counties, the requirement to hold cats and dogs has been a complaint since the Hayden Act passed.

Exactly how much local governments are being forced to spend because of the Hayden Act has been the subject of dispute for years. The Commission on State Mandates said two years ago that local governments are owed $79.2 million, a figure the state auditor later said was inflated. Who pays for state laws about animal shelters is now the subject of a lawsuit and a bill in the Legislature.

"I believe it's premature not only because of the pending court cases, but also premature because we don't have an assessment of how much is owed," said Taimie Bryant, a UCLA law professor who teaches a class on animal law and helped write the Hayden Act.

Lawmakers say repealing the Hayden Act has not been given a proper hearing in a policy committee and should not have been inserted into the proposed state budget without oversight. Now, some are threatening to withhold their vote on the budget until the Schwarzenegger administration withdraws or alters its plan.

"As far as I'm concerned, this throws a wrench in the budget negotiations," said Assemblyman Paul Koretz (D-West Hollywood). "I would not want to make this part of the budget vote. Why would we want to make it easier to kill adoptable animals?
What a sweetheart. Why, he's at least as endearing as Reagan!
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Old 28th June 2004, 08:41 AM   #2
peptoabysmal
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You're a little late, Ahnold has already reneged his position on this issue. Nice kneejerk reaction, though!

Gov. Schwarzenegger Terminates His Ill-Advised Plan to Shake Up Shelters
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Old 28th June 2004, 08:45 AM   #3
Dorian Gray
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1) It happened Friday, so it's not exactly kneejerk.

2) I said he WANTS to, not that he did. What do you think is more likely - that he changed his mind, or his actions?

3) The headline is sensationalist to get people to look here.
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Old 28th June 2004, 09:24 AM   #4
peptoabysmal
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dorian Gray
1) It happened Friday, so it's not exactly kneejerk.
Fine. I take it back.

Quote:

2) I said he WANTS to, not that he did. What do you think is more likely - that he changed his mind, or his actions?
Wants to what? You imply that Arnold wants to kill puppies, which is a gross misrepresentation of the facts. He's looking for ways to cut government waste, which I happen to think is a good thing. How much burden should taxpayers shoulder for irresponsible pet owners?

Quote:

3) The headline is sensationalist to get people to look here.
OK. I don't take it back.
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Old 28th June 2004, 09:31 AM   #5
Jocko
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Quote:
Originally posted by peptoabysmal


Wants to what? You imply that Arnold wants to kill puppies, which is a gross misrepresentation of the facts. He's looking for ways to cut government waste, which I happen to think is a good thing. How much burden should taxpayers shoulder for irresponsible pet owners?
I just kind of assumed that most people here believed republicans killed puppies anyway. Not for budgetary reasons, but just because we don't like puppies.

Of course, now someone is going to make hay about those two summers in college when I supported myself by clubbing baby seals. Not for a furrier, I just don't like baby seals.
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Old 28th June 2004, 09:46 AM   #6
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It seems to me that this "suggestion" is only semi-serious, and that the real point is to get some "Onion"-like headlines just to piss Democrats off...

it seems to be the same sort of thing as Schwarznegger reportedly setting up a "smoking tent" outside his official residence to give the hounded smokers a break.

He doesn't smoke, and I doubt he'll kill puppies, but he seems to be having fun playing to the W. C. Fields' line of "someone who hates dogs and little children can't be all bad."
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Old 29th June 2004, 01:20 PM   #7
Dorian Gray
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Quote:
He's looking for ways to cut government waste, which I happen to think is a good thing.
Cut government HOW? By dispensing with WHAT? Leading to the death of WHAT? Indicating WHAT?
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Old 29th June 2004, 02:00 PM   #8
zakur
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Quote:
Originally posted by Skeptic
it seems to be the same sort of thing as Schwarznegger reportedly setting up a "smoking tent" outside his official residence to give the hounded smokers a break.

He doesn't smoke...
He doesn't smoke? I thought that Schwarzenegger's cigar habit was common knowledge.

Arnold wants his stogies at work (Washington Times)

The World According to Arnold (Cigar Afficianado)

Rumors Swirl on Schwarzenegger's Cigars (NPR)
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