Tom Hayden, the former state senator and animal rights activist urged Gov. Jerry Brown in an online video today to look at his dog, Sutter, before repealing a state law requiring animal shelters to keep dogs and cats longer before euthanizing them.
"Governor, I see you're a dog owner. I can tell from the publicity that you love that dog, your wife loves that dog," Hayden, the former Santa Monica state senator who wrote the 1998 bill, says in the video. "So stop and think: Thousands of dogs and cats are put to death needlessly every year ... I urge you to look at your dog before you allow this bill that protects animals to die."
The mandate, suspended since 2009, lengthened the time animal shelters must hold stray animals before euthanizing them, generally to six days from three. It is one of about 30 local government mandates the Democratic governor is proposing to repeal next fiscal year to save money - about $46 million from the shelter mandate alone.
In a report recommending the mandate's repeal, the Legislative Analyst's Office in 2008 found no link between the mandate and programs encouraging animal adoption.
Sutter, the Pembroke Welsh corgi, has been a source of reliably positive publicity for his owner for more than a year. But animal rights activists this month began using his name in opposition to Brown's proposal to repeal the shelter mandate. Those efforts include a Facebook page, "Sutter's Friends."