The animals waiting for homes in California shelters have no idea what could be coming. They may get an early death sentence under Governor Jerry Brown's proposal that would repeal parts of a state law meant to protect them.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, The rollback would allow shelters to kill dogs, cats and other pets before the 4-6 day minimum set forth in the "Hayden Law," as well as reduce shelters' hours of operation and lift requirements for needed veterinary care.
But over the past week, more than 5,200 people have signed an online petition fighting against the proposed changes. Some are going a step further, and launched a Facebook page called "Sutter's Friends," named after the governor's beloved pet dog.
They say this is not a budget issue, but a humane one - in that thousands of dogs and cats are put to death needlessly every year.
But the Brown administration insists it is a budget issue. Under the law, the state is required to compensate animal shelters for those extra days they must keep the animals alive. And that costs about $23 million a year, according to a Department of Finance spokesman.
He defends Brown's proposal citing a 2008 report by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office that recommended getting rid of the law because it did not result in increased adoptions.
The governor's animal shelter mandate is one of 32 he proposed eliminating to cut this spending in this year's budget.