Discover more from Nathan Winograd
Legislation pending in California would require shelters to notify rescuers 72 hours before killing an animal.
AB 595 was named after Bowie, a shy 12-week-old puppy killed by a municipal shelter, despite a rescue group willing to accept him into their foster care and adoption program. Since Bowie was housed in a building closed to the public, the rescue group did not find out about Bowie’s scheduled killing until it was too late.
In a follow-up memo to the Board of Supervisors regarding Bowie’s execution, the director of the Los Angeles County pound admitted that her staff “did not proactively contact a rescue group to adopt him and provide behavioral rehabilitation” and that doing so — especially since a rescue group did come forward, albeit too late — would have saved his life. Unfortunately, she did not commit to doing so going forward. Instead, she admitted that many of these animals would continue to “not be networked for adoption,” necessitating AB 595 to require her, and other pounds, to do so.
Although the director admits that killing Bowie was “improper,” the alleged “change” she implemented requires two staff members to sign off on killing animals, something that was already supposed to happen after prior incidents, like the killing of Mr. Pickles and other cats. Regardless, having two people sign off on killing would not have changed the outcome for Bowie. Records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that two staff members already did so in his case.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what some shelter directors agree to do. AB 595 is still needed and important since rescue groups often take custody of animals from multiple shelters, rescue particular breeds, are run by people with other jobs, and are foster-care based. Bowie’s Law gives them notice of animals needing rescue at multiple shelters without traveling to each one, giving them time to arrange foster care and accept custody of animals before they are killed. That alone will save countless more lives.
If passed, Bowie’s Law will be a significant advance for the humane treatment of animals in California and a model for the nation.
My letter, on behalf of The No Kill Advocacy Center, is here:
The No Kill Advocacy Center’s position paper on AB 595 is here:
The No Kill Advocacy Center is asking Californians to please contact members of the Assembly Committee hearing the bill and urge them to vote YES on AB 595 (Bowie’s Law):
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