The $50 million pledged by Governor Gavin Newsom to end euthanasia of animals in California’s shelters for lack of homes could go a long way toward achieving that goal—if it is used for prevention.
Subsidizing sterilization services and making them easily accessible to every animal guardian would prevent millions of animals from being born only to end up unwanted, homeless or neglected. Mandating spaying/neutering and outlawing the unregulated breeding and sale of animals by pet stores, breeders, flea markets and puppy mills are also crucial.
Trying to implement “no-kill” policies before animal births are brought under control inevitably results in more animals suffering and dying, badly. Shelters under pressure to go “no-kill” often warehouse animals for months or years or turn them away, leaving them on the streets (where they starve or are hit by cars) or in the hands of people who don’t want them. In some cases, “no-kill” policies have led to a high rate of deaths from disease or injury in facilities that are supposed to be safe havens.
California would be wise to join Los Angeles County, the Santa Barbara Humane Society and a growing number of humane experts nationwide in adopting Socially Conscious Animal Sheltering—a progressive model that puts the focus on animals’ quality of life instead of on numbers. The only way to become a “no-kill” state is to first become a “no-birth” one.
Animal Care and Control Issues Manager
To those who complain about SMART trains that are not full at mid-morning, I offer this: Drive the freeway at 3am. Those empty three- and five-lane highways are the biggest waste of money you’ve ever seen. SMART trains don’t yet run in the middle of the night.
Actually, it would be nice to have a late-night, ferry-train connection on Fridays and Saturdays. Many of us like to see music or a show in the city but don’t want to drive those spooky empty freeways after a long evening. A “Yes” vote on Measure I allows for that possibility, and makes a cleaner, greener transportation future for our children.