Category Archives: UCLA Paw Review

California Legislative Round-Up, Part 1

Logo for the UCLA Paw ReviewThe UCLA Animal Law Program will be hosting its first event next week, a workshop for animal rescuers titled Saving Animals’ Lives Through Shelter Rescue. To celebrate, we will focus our next posts to the UCLA Paw Review on proposed California legislation that affects companion animals.

The first bill on which we would like to focus is a bill introduced on February 2, 2011 by the California Assembly’s Committee on Agriculture: AB 222, which is simply titled “Food and Agriculture: Omnibus Bill.” The bill, as amended, would amend Sections 31108 (pertaining to the holding period for stray dogs) and 31752 (pertaining to the holding period for stray cats) of the Food & Agricultural Code to define the term “business day,” for purposes of California’s shelter laws, as any day that a public or private shelter is open to the public for at least 4 hours, excluding state holidays. Existing law requires that the holding period for a stray dog or a stray cat impounded in a shelter be six business days, not including the day of impoundment, with exceptions, as provided.

Shelter dogThe impetus for amendment was an opinion issued by the California Court of Appeal in Veena Purigoy v. Glenn Howell [PDF], which held that “Saturday is not a ‘business day’ within the meaning of section 31108(a).” The bill appears to have been sponsored by the State Humane Association of California. The Assembly Analysis of the bill states that, “The State Humane Association of California has raised this as a clarifying change since most private, and many public, shelters are open on Saturdays to provide the public more opportunity to rescue and/or adopt animals. Many are not open every day of a typical business week, that is Monday to Friday, for that purpose. The Association states that this change will provide the shelters the clarification needed so they don’t need to add additional days to their holding period and to meet the court’s interpretation of current statute.”

What do you think, readers? Should the legislature define “business day” to mean something other the its usual and ordinary meaning? Defining Saturday as a “business day” effectively shortens the holding period for dogs and cats; do you think that is consistent with the legislative intent of the Hayden Act to lengthen the holding period for animals taken into California’s animal shelters in order to increase opportunities for adoption and redemption? If you disagree with this change of California shelter law, please contact your representatives. For guidance on how to do so, and how to get started with legislative advocacy, please see the UCLA School of Law LibGuide entitled California Legislative Advocacy.


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When Art Meets Activism

Visitors to our site may have noticed the lovely dedication added to our right sidebar, posted with the gracious permission of its author, writer and performer Katya Lidsky:

In memory of the animals who do not make it, in honor of those still suffering, and in hope of those we might be able to help. We hear you.

These moving words appeared in the program of Katya’s amazing one-woman play I’m Sorry: How an Apologist Found Her Voice, which is playing in an extended run through May 22 at The Lounge Theatre in Los Angeles. I’m Sorry tells the story of “how a people-pleasing apologist became an animal-loving activist.” We highly recommend the production and give it four out of four paws!

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Posted by on May 19, 2011 in advocacy, UCLA Paw Review



Introducing the UCLA PAW REVIEW!

Logo for the UCLA Paw ReviewThe UCLA Animal Law Program is pleased to announce its new regular feature, the UCLA Paw Review! The UCLA Paw Review is our take on the traditional legal publishing format of the law review.

Our version, however, will not only include regular posts on laws affecting animals, but will also include summaries of suggested reading materials, legislative alerts for proposed legislation that affects animals, interviews, and even fun content such as movie and book reviews (with, of course, a paw rating system). We hope you will enjoy it!

I dedicate this week’s reading suggestion to animal advocates everywhere who work so tirelessly to save and make better lives for animals. Because animal advocates aim to challenge the status quo, a world in which the exploitation and killing of animals is accepted legally and morally as “necessary,” the reality of the violence witnessed by advocates is often denied and dismissed as extremist exaggeration. For advocates, then, I highly recommend the article Trauma, Law, and Advocacy for Animals [PDF], which was written by our own UCLA Law Professor Taimie Bryant. The article discusses the trauma animal advocates experience from repeated exposure to legally sanctioned violence against animals and proposes legal reform initiatives that may counter-balance traumatizing forms of advocacy and build the social context for addressing violence against animals.

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Posted by on May 18, 2011 in advocacy, UCLA Paw Review