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Bowie’s Law—Giving Adoptable Animals in Shelters More Time - National Humane Education Society

February 21, 2023

Paws Up! To California Assembly Member Bill Essayli for advocating for animals who are at risk of being euthanized in animal shelters with the introduction of Assembly Bill 595.

Companion animal overpopulation is still prevalent in many areas of the country, especially in impoverished or remote areas where veterinary clinics are miles away. Animal rescue groups network with each other to help rescue homeless cats and dogs in areas like these to give them a second chance at life.

Sadly, the euthanasia of healthy animals happens daily in animal control facilities, and animal shelters (unless they are no-kill shelters) throughout the country. These killings occur after the animals’ holding time is up, and they haven’t found homes or a rescue group to take them. This reality is heartbreaking. To prevent cats and dogs from facing this fate, animal advocates, animal welfare organizations and humane societies are proponents of spaying and neutering companion animals. This humane solution keeps cats and dogs from experiencing needless suffering.

In California, a healthy 3-month-old puppy named Bowie was euthanized at one of the Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control Centers, although a rescue group had reached out to take him. This senseless killing fueled Assembly Member Bill Essayli (R-District 63) to examine existing laws and see how this could be prevented in the future.

Assembly Member Essayli introduced Bowie’s Law, also known as Assembly Bill 595. This bill wants to inform the public of adoptable cats and dogs at risk of being euthanized. It would require animal shelters and animal control facilities to post the date each animal will be euthanized on a public website within a 72-hour window. In addition, it would require a study to be made on the overcrowding dilemma in the state’s animal shelters and animal control facilities. The Department of Food and Agriculture would perform this study. Once completed, the study would be submitted to the Legislature for review.

Take Action: Californians, you can help make a difference in the lives of homeless animals by contacting your assembly member and showing your support for Bowie’s Law.

The National Humane Education Society’s Spay Today program was started in 1995. This program provides services to individuals and families in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., and West Virginia. Spay Today has helped spay and neuter around 84,000 dogs, cats, pot-bellied pigs, chinchillas, rats, and rabbits since 1995.

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11 responses to “Bowie’s Law—Giving Adoptable Animals in Shelters More Time

  1. anice says:

    Yours should be a no kill shelter; submit letters to wealthy Californians and beg (if you have to) for them to support your shelter–find some people that will agree to appearing in newspaper/magazine articles about your shelter…..not only will they want to appear with animals–it will give these people newsworthy stories to show they support animal shelters.

  2. lynn cole says:

    Give rescue groups a chance to take dogs and cats when there is no more space for them. If their stay goes over 72 hours it’s not the end of the world. But death is the end of the world for these innocents. I’m in my 14th year of volunteering at our local shelter, so I speak from experience. I implore you to take this thought to heart.

  3. Anita Burton says:

    All shelters should be no kill shelters. Those charged with abuse and neglect should be stiffly fined and all money going to support the shelters. Spay and neuter programs should be supported with the elite sponsoring fund raisers and having photo ops with the animals. It will bring attention to the shelters and provide good publicity for the people with newsworthy stories as the first person noted.

  4. Marsha Taylor says:

    No animal should ever suffer death just because there is no more room for them. Give Rescue people time to take them in. All shelter should be NO KILL shelters. Anyone that puts an animal down for this reason should be put in prison. That is just pure murder to those poor helpless babies that don’t ask to be born just like children. Please stop this. You rich people in California and other states should support your Community shelters and any others that need help.PLEASE HELP!!

  5. Glenda Macemore says:

    I firmly believe no animal deserves to die because of overcrowding! This problem should be addressed by laws that demand spay & neuter of companion animals & these laws should be rigidly enforced!

  6. Howard Olinsky says:

    To kill an otherwise healthy, adoptable cat or dog is simply inhumane.

  7. Beth says:

    I’m shocked that California is not a no kill shelter state. Completely unacceptable!

  8. Richard A. Roberts says:

    killing mans and womans best friend does not make us dogs best friend. It is really sick to do this to healthy animals esp, dogs , cats and pigs.. It needs to be stopped.

  9. It is truly disgusting to kill a perfectly sweet and adaptable animal detained in a so-called “shelter” while spending MANY MILLIONS of $$$ on the human debris infesting California’s once fine cities.

  10. Michael Novak says:

    Totally unacceptable behavior on the part of these so called “people”, but not surprising, because, after all, it is California.

  11. Marilyn Margaret Wendt says:

    It is not right to hurt any animals. They deserve love and compassion.

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