California shelter bill pulled amid controversy

Today, we received word from Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s office that Assembly Bill 2343, has been pulled by Mr. Gatto, the bill’s sponsor.

The bill’s language had been the source of controversy within the animal welfare community – specifically the language around hold times for unidentified cats, and a provision in the original bill that would have allowed “for profit” entities to pull animals from California shelters.

We, along with others, had been working with Assemblyman Gatto’s office to try to see amendments made to the bill that would allow Best Friends to support it, but that is not to be. Overall, we’re disappointed to know that we will not see an update to the Hayden Act this year that could include more progressive language concerning community cats and a solution to the routine suspension of the extended hold times called for in Hayden that have been found to constitute an unfunded mandate.

Best Friends remains committed to being a part of the conversation on how we can improve on existing California law in a way that incentivizes lifesaving in California’s municipal shelters.

In the meantime, we’ll continue our work, including the thousands of lives saved in California through our Best Friends – Los Angeles program and the NKLA initiative.

Francis Battista