Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Bill boosts shelter pets’ chance of living

Guest Writer
Guest Opinion

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.

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

Search site | Terms of service