While surfing another site, I decided to visit the Texas Humane Legislative Network (THLN) site to see if they had an opinion of HB 3450, aka Companion Animal Protection Act, or CAPA (see previous posts).
Seems that the THLN folks oppose this bill, as they didn't get the chance to talk it to death first. Awwwww...
Here's an excerpt from their Web site.
It is THLN’s belief that it would be more productive to defer this legislation to the 2013 legislative session so it can be fully reviewed and discussed by the entire Texas animal welfare community. This will give all stakeholders the opportunity to debate the issues, offer their ideas as to solutions to the problems addressed and to determine how to best achieve the solutions sought by the bill – whether through statewide legislation or local ordinances or incentives.
THLN recommends that consideration of this bill be postponed and the entire Texas animal welfare community, the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, the Texas Animal Control Association, the Texas Municipal League and other interested parties work together during the interim period with the goal of bringing a comprehensive and well thought through bill next session that can be supported and endorsed by all stakeholders.
This all sounds nice, but who's going to actually arrange that "interested parties work together"? They left out that part. And why should we wait until 2013 to introduce a major strategy that could reduce the killing in shelters?
Also, unless they're keeping it a secret, THLN has spent zero time researching how well this sort of legislation has fared in other states. Houston's No Kill folks have done so:
CAPA is modeled after a similar law which has been in effect in California since 1998. An analysis of that law found that sending animals to non-profit animal rescue organizations saved the City and County of San Francisco $486,480 in publicly funded animal control costs. CAPA saves taxpayer money by mandating public-private partnerships that not only reduce expenses associated with having to care for, then kill and dispose of an animal, but which transfers expenses from taxpayers to private philanthropy.
Last but certainly not least, THLN has completely overlooked the fact that morale might improve in city shelters if the employees didn't spend so much time killing animals. This, in itself, is sufficient reason to pass this legislation.
But then research and empathy might cut into the THLN members' committee-sitting time. Can't have that happen, can we?