CA DHS new 8/17/09 Draft Rabies Control Report used to support A.R.C. 91 (Lieu, Smyth) Adopt a Shelter Pet Month Resolution

The California Department of Health Services Veterinary Public Health Section on August 17, 2009 released an updated draft of its Annual Report of Local Rabies Control Activieis, 2008 with most jurisdictions now reporting.  Updating our July 10 entry here, the 2008 data still are a fraction of our file’s base year of 1980, when 437,776 dogs were euthanized in California shelters compared to 159,231 in 2008, a decline of almost 65%.  For reference, the California human population in 1980 was 23,667,764 and in 2008 was 36,756,666, an increase of of 35.61%.  Adjusted for the increase in human population, the decline in shelter euthanasia of dogs since 1980 is even more dramatic. 

This new DHS Draft was just in time for the first amendment on August 25 of Assembly Concurrent Resolution 91, introduced on August 20 by Assemblymember Ted Lieu (D-53) of Torrance and co-author Cameron Smyth (R-38) of Santa Clarita.  A.R.C. 91 would declare September 2009 Adopt a Shelter Pet Month and “encourage” pet adoption based on a long list of recitals.  They used the DHS Draft to dramatize the “high” shelter numbers, igoring the context of long term decline and expected short term increase due to the harsh economy.  The amendments also added other pet species to the resolution.  Promoting shelter adoptions is a worthy cause that should stand on its own merits without misrepresentation and innuendo. 

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