BILL NUMBER: ACR 74 INTRODUCED BILL TEXT INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Portantino MAY 18, 2009 Relative to the treatment of animals. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST ACR 74, as introduced, Portantino. Animal shelters: No Kill movement policies. This measure would urge local animal services agencies, local animal shelters, agencies under contract to provide animal services, societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, and humane societies to embrace the philosophy of the No Kill movement and implement its programs and services aimed at ending the mass killing of sheltered animals. Fiscal committee: no. WHEREAS, Societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, animal shelters, and other humane organizations were formed to establish standards for humane treatment of animals and to protect them from harm; and WHEREAS, Traditional sheltering practices allow the mass killing of sheltered animals; and WHEREAS, Every year animal shelters in California are killing thousands of healthy and treatable animals that could be placed in homes and thousands of feral cats that do not belong in animal shelters; and WHEREAS, Citizens have a right to expect animal protection organizations, animal services agencies, animal shelters, agencies under contract to provide local animal services, societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, and humane societies to do everything in their power to promote, protect, and advocate for the lives of animals; and WHEREAS, Citizens have a right to have their government spend their tax dollars not on programs and services that kill animals but on those that save and enhance the lives of animals and protect animals from cruelty; and WHEREAS, Citizens have the right to full and complete disclosure about how animal shelters operate; and WHEREAS, The No Kill movement in the United States has successfully implemented new and innovative programs that provide alternatives to killing sheltered animals; and WHEREAS, Under the No Kill animal sheltering method, shelter directors dedicate themselves and actively commit management and staff to animal lifesaving programs and policies to promptly end mass killing of sheltered animals; and WHEREAS, The No Kill animal sheltering method creates and funds high-volume, low- and no-cost spay or neuter services; and WHEREAS, The No Kill animal sheltering method incorporates the following animal lifesaving programs and policies: (a) Volunteer foster care network programs to care for sheltered animals that are underaged, traumatized, sick, injured, or otherwise in need of refuge, unless the prognosis for rehabilitation of that individual animal is poor or grave. (b) Comprehensive adoption programs that operate during weekend and evening hours and include offsite adoption venues. (c) Medical and behavioral rehabilitation programs, which may include the creation of a special public monetary fund, that allow outside veterinarians to do voluntary rotations to supplement staff, provide medical help, diagnose, vaccinate, and administer medication and treatment. (d) Pet retention programs to solve medical, environmental, or behavioral problems, which include, but are not limited to, shelter-housed pet care libraries, free in-home dog behavior problem solving taught by volunteers, low-cost or volunteer-provided dog training, and pet behavior classes. (e) Multilingual public education and awareness programs. (f) Feral cat trap-neuter-return or release (TNR) programs for the purposes of ending the policy of accepting trapped feral cats to be destroyed as unadoptable, and establishing TNR as the accepted method of feral cat control by educating the public about TNR and offering TNR program services. (g) Animal socialization programs using community volunteers. (h) Volunteer programs to socialize animals, promote adoptions, and assist in shelter operations. (i) Voluntary animal training programs offered to government controlled shelters by dog and cat breed clubs, certified training groups, or animal trainers. (j) Government-employed animal shelter staff participation in breed identification training. (k) Creation and maintenance of a directory of local nonprofit rescue groups. (l) Prekilling notification to rescue groups before animals are killed. (m) Rescue group access to sheltered animals during normal business hours for the purpose of identification, adoption, or advice on the treatment of their breed. (n) Adoption or release of animals to rescue organizations for rehoming. (o) Documentation that all efforts to save an animal have been considered before killing the animal, including medical and behavioral rehabilitation, foster care, rescue groups, neuter and release, and adoption. (p) Killing an animal only after the shelter has made an independent determination that the animal is irremediably suffering or cannot be rehabilitated. (q) Temperament testing by persons trained in animal behavior sciences which results in less killing of animals that are not truly vicious but can be placed in homes or released, such as shy, timid, or frightened animals. (r) Owner counseling on owner-requested killing of animals to ascertain if there is an alternative that will allow the owner to keep the animal and to determine whether the animal can be rehomed. (s) Examination of animal control ordinances, such as cat licensing, pet limit laws, bans on feeding stray animals, bans on specific breeds, and mandatory spay and neuter programs, to assess the effectiveness of those ordinances and their impact on animal death rates; and WHEREAS, The Legislature believes animal lifesaving changes will come about if No Kill programs are embraced and further developed; now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature encourages No Kill animal shelter policies and procedures as the foundation for animal sheltering; and be it further Resolved, That the Legislature urges all local animal services agencies, local animal shelters, agencies under contract to provide animal services, societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, and humane societies to embrace the philosophy of the No Kill movement, and to immediately begin implementing programs and services to reject failed kill-oriented policies and end the mass killing of sheltered animals; and be it further Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.