Sunday, June 7, 2009

Does HSUS Support SB 250 in CA?

A brief historical example of HSUS involvement in mandatory spay-neuter (MSN) in CA:

HSUS participated in crafting MSN in Sacramento Co, CA starting in 2004 (pdf). The ordinance was introduced in 2006 and passed in 2007.

  • In 2006, Sacramento Co killed 46% of their shelter pets while owners redeemed 9% and 15% were adopted, rescue accounted for 6% and foster for 2% (pdf).
  • In 2007, Sacramento Co killed 49% of their shelter pets while owners redeemed 10% and 15% were adopted, rescue accounted for 4% and foster for 3% (pdf).
  • In 2008, Sacramento Co killed 50% of their shelter pets while owners redeemed 9% and 15% were adopted, rescue accounted for 4% and foster for 2% (pdf).

In summary, the HSUS led coalition declared that MSN was the solution to Sacramento County's shelter killing problems in 2006, when the kill rate was 46%. After MSN was passed in 2007, the kill rate increased to 49% and increased again in 2008 to 50%. Rescue/foster save rates have dropped from 8% to 6% in the same period. Adoptions have remained stagnant at 15%.

To date, I would give this ordinance a big frowny-face "F".

Now to current MSN legislation in CA and the question of HSUS support:

Judie Mancuso, the animal rights activist behind CA's 2007 statewide MSN bill (AB 1634), is founder and President of Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL). SCIL is BFFs with HSUS (pdf of HSUS 2007 tax return indicating a $10,000 grant to SCIL, page 47). After AB 1634 went down in flames in 2008, SCIL went to work on SB 250 which is kinda very much like and eerily similar to and basically the same thing as AB 1634. SB 250 recently passed the state Senate and has been sent to the state Assembly for final consideration before it can become law.

Although to my knowledge HSUS has not taken an official position on SB 250, we know they are strong financial supporters of the bill's sponsor SCIL and historically they have worked to get MSN ordinances passed in CA. And since HSUS has not come out against SB 250, it's possible to my mind they are supporting it, perhaps through additional grants to SCIL and/or other means. Which is why this release from HSUS, dated June 4, surprised me:
On behalf of its nearly 1.3 million California constituents, The Humane Society of the United States yesterday appeared before the state legislative Budget Conference Committee to urge consideration of the serious and adverse implications of the Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to suspend the "animal adoption mandate," which would have the effect of reducing by three days the holding period for stray dogs and cats in the state's municipal animal shelters.

Indeed if HSUS is concerned about saving shelter pets in CA, why are they not campaigning against SB 250 which will have the effect of increased killing of shelter pets in CA? Note: Look at the Los Angeles MSN kills stats after 1 year on KC Dog Blog, and the disastrous effects of MSN in Santa Cruz Co on Save Our Dogs site.

I'll be watching the Save Our Dogs and PetPAC sites for news about the CA State Assembly's action on SB 250. And I'll be keeping an eye out for any "official position" and/or action by HSUS regarding the bill.

Related Reading:

Letter from former President of CA Veterinary Medical Association

American Veterinary Medical Association policy against MSN

ASPCA position statement against MSN

Alley Cat Allies (pdf) against MSN


Luisa said...

Speaking of Judie Mancuso's BFFs: PETA "helped" to direct the campaign for AB 1634. They were listed as supporters on the bill's website, but their name and related content mysteriously vanished from the website when word got out that "No-Birth" AR extremists were behind the bill.

Nothing like the courage of your convictions, eh, Ms. Mancuso?

EmilyS said...

PetPac has claimed HSUS is supporting the bill. Wrong? or just jumping the gun on an announcement?

Heather Houlahan said...

Important point on those Sacramento County shelter stats -- the absolute numbers of intakes (and killings) have also not dropped.

More animals came in in 2008 than in 2007, and more were killed.

And freakin' 4% rate of turning over to rescue, when you are killing HALF of the animals you get hold of?


There are dirtwater pounds in the deepest hollers of Ohio and West Virginia that are doing better than that.

Semavi Lady said...

Bravo!! Thanks for posting this!

Wish more people would connect the dots.

Sacto's drop in licensing would be interesting to put on a spreadsheet if anyone has a link.

TrueAgendas said...

Brava! Thanks for posting this info. How is it that HSUS is adamantly supporting every other radical animal rights bill at the Capitol, but somehow forgot to show up for SB250? Makes me wonder...

I too would love to see data on Sacramento City and County dog and cat licenses for the past three years. From what I've heard, that would be very interesting reading for our Senators and Assembly Members. How many breeding permits have been sold, anyway? Zero? Near zero?