Voters in National City pass a ban on the retail sale of commercially-bred dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores. Spokane County, WA, reported a placement rate of 98% for dogs, 94% for cats, and 99% for rabbits and other animals. Emporia, VA, reported a placement rate of 96% for dogs and 94% for cats. Appomattox County, VA, reported a placement rate of 98% for dogs and 95% for cats. A public library was assailed by anti-pit bull vitriol for hosting a reading with shelter pets that a pitty, but the librarian ignored the haters and all the publicity resulted in a new home for the dog. Despite (false) promises that new reforms would end the era of horses dying at the track, the 9th horse of the season has died at Santa Anita racetrack. The San Francisco city pound is violating the constitutional rights of critics of their killing. And finally, courts and legislatures are moving to invalidate Will provisions that require healthy pets to be killed and buried with the deceased, finding that doing is “wicked” and thus violates public policy.

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And finally, Emma, a healthy little dog, was put down because the woman she lived with died and declared in her Will that Emma should also be killed and buried with her. Now, recently introduced legislation would make such provisions illegal, at least in New Jersey. Assembly Bill 3166 says that, “Any provision in a will that directs the fiduciary to euthanize a healthy domestic companion animal is against public policy and is void and unenforceable.” Some courts, including those in Pennsylvania, Vermont, and California, have already declared such Will provisions illegal. The Pennsylvania Court, for example, found that the provision to kill a healthy dog violated public policy, ruling that a Will “cannot command anything that is wicked.” Killing a healthy or treatable dog, cat, rabbit, or other animal companion should be illegal, regardless of whether the animal is at a shelter, taken to a veterinarian, or imposed in a Will. Thankfully, both the courts and legislators are increasingly coming to that realization.

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