Monday, August 22, 2011

3 days left to assure 7 days in shelter

The bill S2923, already a done deal in the state senate and assembly, awaits Governor Christie’s signature. He must conditionally veto it before this Thursday when otherwise it will become law.

Why? because while much of the bill is well intentioned and good for shelter animals – requiring that those who leave shelters must be spayed or neutered, for instance – one part of it is very bad for them.

It would give shelters three reasons to waive the current 7-day holding period for animals that animal control officers bring there: age, health or behavior – and euthanize them right away. That’s an awful prospect.

Age means different things to different animals; short of terminal illness, health is often misleading and treatable; behavior is a very subjective area that benefits from observation time after an animal new to a shelter has relaxed a bit.

The seven-day holding period also gives animals the chance to be found by their owners or adopted.

If the bill were amended to cut the part about eliminating the seven-day hold, it would be acceptable. Therefore, the immediate need is to ask the governor to conditionally veto S2923.

There are two ways to do that: phone 609-292-6000 and leave a message, or use webmail: and write a comment.

For “topic,” choose “Health and Senior Services” (the department where the Office of Animal Welfare is located). A “sub topic” must also be chosen, and since there’s no option having to do with animals, choose any of them before typing the message in the comment box.

Please don’t delay: ask the governor for a conditional veto!

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