Nathan is MAD at HSUS Trying to Tweak the Law So Cats Can Be Taken which are Owned?
April 15, 2014 by Nathan J. Winograd
As I posted here and here, Jennifer Fearing, a lobbyist for HSUS, is proposing a bill which threatens to take cats from their families and give them to for-profit companies, including potentially, companies who sell animals to research labs.
If passed, AB 2343 (the Fearing Bill) would allow (and in some cases require) shelters to give dogs and cats to for-profit companies to sell for any reason whatsoever.
In the case of cats entering shelters without ID, shelters can adopt them out or give them to individuals who sell them the very moment the cat enters a shelter, the very day that animal becomes lost, and before a family even has the opportunity to recognize that their cat it missing.
How does it do this? Sec. 31752(b)(1)(B) of the proposed bill says that stray cats without identification can be adopted or transferred to a “rescue group” immediately.
Subsection (g) then changes the definition of a “rescue group” to be for-profit or nonprofit. It can be a 501(c)(3) or an “entity” or a collaboration of individuals who sell dogs and cats. There is no requirement that the sale be for purposes of companionship.
There are no standards of any kind for these for-profit individuals. What might they sell animals for? According to one legal analysis, since state law preempts local laws, the Fearing Bill would potentially undo local laws that prevent shelter animals from being sold to research labs, thus allowing “bunchers” to do so.
Fearing and her enablers at HSUS claim California law already allows this, but this is just profound ignorance.
What Jennifer Fearing did was take a definition from the Vincent bill passed in 1998 to ensure animals were neutered before placement, and placed it into her bill which addresses the right of rescue groups to animals in shelters.
The purpose of the definition was to make sure all animals were sterilized before they were placed by anyone if those animals came from shelters. It was not part of the Hayden bill passed the same year for purposes of giving animals from shelters to non-profit rescue groups.
Fearing is now proposing that the spay/neuter definition be applied to the “rescue” provision which would mean, for the first time ever, anyone who calls themselves an “entity” or two or more people who sell dogs and cats “for profit” (and for any reason whatsoever) will be given the right to take animals out of shelters.
Currently, that specific law empowers only non-profit animal adoption or rescue groups. As any lawyer can tell you, you cannot take a definition from one law and place it in another law without consequences.
It is well known that shelters are saying NOT to put cats into shelters because they will just be killed. If the Fearing Bill ended up allowing people to get paid to get cats to lab researchers (cats replacing rats in labs)– would that stop people from giving cats to shelters? Probably not. Additionally, NOT taking cats into shelters will NOT allow the shelters to know how many cats got killed– by them or anyone else. Instead, the cats will roam the STREETS.
Cats are basically not in high demand unless they are kittens; more cats are being killed all the time, while less dogs are being killed. In general, despite the numerous cat rescues, there are NEVER enough rescues to take all of the grown cats that no one wants. Even in areas with 93% of cats altered, there are supposedly still large numbers of feral cats. Thus it is unlikely that even if cats WERE to be taken to labs, that it would greatly affect the number of excess cats that no one wants. HSUS has NEVER been a proponent of rescuing animals to begin with, despite what they claim.
The concept of trap and release, TNR (trap neuter release) is not fully accepted by many areas or groups, and where it is used, in some places, the cats may create feral colonies or join such colonies. Although the altered cats will not produce, if they are in rural areas, it has been stated that a proliferation of such cats may end up being killed by farmers or ranchers, or that such groups of cats may upset the eco systems or kill off birds, creating other AR people to whine and complain.
In particular, adult cats are very low on the totem pole for adoption. Many cat rescues simply can’t get rid of large numbers of common adult cats. Their value is inherently low. In some cities, the proliferation of cats causes shelters on Fridays to give cats away at $5.00 and buy one get one free. It doesn’t get much cheaper than that.