A war needs people fighting on all sides, supporting each other with one main purpose…victory. It is the same for the world of animal welfare. Individuals on the front lines, such as those working in shelters and rescues, spend their time in the trenches, working with and taking care of the animals. Individuals supporting the front lines do their part by performing community education and other vital functions. And then there are individuals behind the scenes making laws to ensure the chances of victory for everyone.
Recently the Senate passed bill SB359. This bill permits a pound, animal shelter, or Humane Society to operate a program of trapping, vaccinating, and sterilizing feral cats before returning them to the sites where they were trapped. The bill excludes a person who participates in such a program from the definition of “owner” regarding custody of the subject cats. Current law makes an owner’s abandonment of an animal a misdemeanor.
In the middle of 2011 the “CAPA” bill was introduced in Minnesota, meant to ensure the end of “convenience” killing by shelters, and make it illegal to kill animals if rescue groups are willing to save them.
New York had its own bill titled The Companion Animal Access and Rescue Act. This bill sets minimum standards that allow rescue groups to recover animals from a shelter, SPCA, Humane Society or pound that are scheduled to be destroyed. Current New York law only allows for individuals to adopt from shelters, which gives shelters the ability to deny these qualified groups access to these animals.
And in Arizona there is bill SB1273, meant to reduce the number of legally required racing days and allow the track to enter into agreements that could end live racing completely. Tucson Greyhound Park, the last remaining dog track in the state, would be free to streamline its business and pursue other, non-animal forms of gambling. Arizona remains one of last seven states allowing dog racing.
These are just a few examples of the war being fought to save animals and educate society. It is a war that may never be won, but each battle won is a victory in itself for those who serve on all fronts.
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