First-of-Its-Kind Animal Abandonment Law Passed!

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Postby Marinepits » August 15th, 2008, 7:26 am

From the latest ASPCA newsletter:

The subprime mortgage crisis that has devastated homeowners and the economy has brought with it a troubling trend: pets abandoned after home foreclosures. Those who assess deserted homes are often directed to leave property—including pets—untouched until the foreclosure process is completed. As a result, many pets have been left to die.

The ASPCA would like to congratulate the California Legislature for addressing this issue with the swift passage of Assembly Bill 2949, which amends California’s Civil Code to require property owners—including banks or other corporate entities—to immediately notify animal control officials when animals are abandoned at foreclosed properties.

AB 2949 was born out of California State Assemblyman Mark DeSaulnier’s annual “There Ought to Be a Law” contest. Contest winner Sheri Kuticka recognized this tragic consequence of the housing market downturn, and suggested that something be done to help abandoned animals. She, along with the ASPCA and the California Animal Association, cosponsored the legislation, which was signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on August 4.

“While pets are mere ‘property’ in the eyes of the law, the difference between a cat and a stereo is self-evident,” says Californian Jill Buckley, ASPCA Senior Director of Government Relations. “Before this law, a lot of well-meaning people’s hands were tied when they found pets in empty homes. Of course, the most important thing is for folks not to abandon their pets in the first place—but at least now, these unlucky animals will have a chance to get the life-saving care they need.”

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Postby amazincc » August 15th, 2008, 9:57 am

I can't believe we actually have to pass a law to show some compassion and "do the right thing". :nono:
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Postby LMM » August 15th, 2008, 10:07 am

It makes me tear up whenever I think of an animal just being abandoned by its owners. What a great step towards helping those animals this law is.
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Postby iluvk9 » August 15th, 2008, 10:19 am

Wonderful news! :)

They leave kids in cars on hot days, so leaving an animal behind probably just comes natural to idiots.
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Postby airwalk » August 15th, 2008, 11:06 am

I love the idea and people should not abandon their animals, but that law will pose some very interesting challenges for ACO'S, shelters and LEO's.

There are laws about how long personal property must be held for reclaim - and sometimes those laws are different than standard stray holding laws.

We won't get involved in a tenant/landlord situation, because ultimately we could end up having to hold the animal for 90 days for a tenant to reclaim and there is no one to pay that bill.

Additionally, in Oregon, you can't just go in and remove the animal unless there are exigent circumstances. You have to try to find the owner, post a notice, and if the owner advises they are providing even minimal care ACO's can't touch it.
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Postby HappyChick » August 15th, 2008, 11:23 am

I'm glad CA passed this law. It seems like a step in the right direction. I agree with Christine, though, that it's sad it takes a law to allow people to do the right thing.

airwalk wrote:We won't get involved in a tenant/landlord situation, because ultimately we could end up having to hold the animal for 90 days for a tenant to reclaim and there is no one to pay that bill.

Additionally, in Oregon, you can't just go in and remove the animal unless there are exigent circumstances. You have to try to find the owner, post a notice, and if the owner advises they are providing even minimal care ACO's can't touch it.


Wow! That sucks! In our area, ACO can go in and take the animal if it's clear the family has moved, but left the animal there. However, they do have to take a LEO if a witness is needed to the conditions the animal was left in.
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Postby Malli » August 15th, 2008, 1:32 pm

:clap:
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