Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Bill boosts shelter pets’ chance of living



The percentage of animals euthanized in Pima County is at a three-year low, but we still have a long way to go.

In order to increase the number of animals placed in happy homes and prevent the unnecessary killing of healthy dogs and cats, we need to change the law.

I am sponsoring legislation to create a statewide policy of no-kill animal shelters and county pounds, and prohibit the euthanization of animals that can be adopted into suitable homes.

We all are affected by these tough economic times, including pets that sadly get left behind with foreclosed homes and don’t get spayed or neutered because of the cost.

We need to make spaying and neutering as free as possible, and we need to set some guidelines on how strays are treated.

The No Kill Animal Shelter Act, SB 1446, requires humane treatment of animals – whether they are short-term runaways or seeking permanent homes.

My legislation would increase the time a pound must keep and maintain a stray dog or cat.

It also directs pounds to make certain efforts before destroying an animal, including releasing it to a nonprofit rescue or adoption organization unless it suffers from an untreatable disease or would spread disease.

Any county, city or town that violates these directives would be subject to civil damages.

This law would encourage cooperation between county pounds and nonprofit animal shelters to prevent the loss of an animal’s life due to a shortage of space.

It would also require pounds and shelters to provide owners of lost animals or anyone who finds lost animals with the ability to list the animals lost or found, referrals to animals listed, phone numbers of other pounds, volunteer groups in the area and advice on how to publish and disseminate information about lost animals.

This legislation prohibits pet ownership by a person who is on probation due to a conviction of cruelty to animals.

This bill also encourages Arizonans to purchase a special pet license plate to generate revenue for animal shelters that support spay and neuter programs.

This is not a partisan issue, and killing is not the solution. With a little bit of effort and a lot of compassion, we can provide safe havens for lost or hurt animals, make spaying and neutering as affordable as possible and send more of God’s creatures to a loving home instead of an untimely death.

Al Melvin is a Republican state senator for District 26. E-mail: amelvin@azleg.gov

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

Search site | Terms of service