Fort Bend County, TX, is violating the First Amendment rights of animal shelter volunteers. A second horse has died at Santa Anita in just one week. Over 1,000,000 animals have been saved by a California law mandating rescue. A study finds that living with dogs reduces your risk of death from all causes. Two cats who were thrown from a car are being threatened with more violence by the agency that is supposed to protect them from it. Three new communities join the 90% Club. Other communities are seeking new leadership to do the same. And legislation to ban housing discrimination for people who live with animal companions is on the horizon.
In case you missed it:
- A new volunteer policy at Fort Bend County Animal Services threatens to fire volunteers if they “Voice grievances or make disparaging remarks about FBCAS.” A municipality, including a government shelter, cannot condition the ability to volunteer or rescue on giving up the right to free speech and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Doing so is not only offensive, it is illegal.
- Just one week into the racing season, a second horse has died at Santa Anita. That’s 33 since December, despite (false) promises that new reforms would end the era of horses dying at the track. And that’s just one track. “Nearly 10 horses a week on average died at American racetracks in 2018…”
- Over 1,000,000 shelter animals have been saved by a California law that makes it illegal for pounds to kill animals when rescue groups are willing to save them.
- Want to live for a very long time? Get a dog. A new study found that living with a dog was associated with a 24% decline in mortality from all causes.
- Two cats who suffered abuse when they were thrown from a car are being threatened with more violence by the agency that is supposed to protect them from it. The pound is threatening to kill them if they are not adopted soon.
- The newest communities to place over 90% of the animals for the first time include Grand County, CO, which reported a 97% placement rate for dogs, 99% for cats, and 100% for rabbits and other small animals, Boulder, CO, which reported a 94% placement rate for dogs, 90% for cats, and 91% for rabbits and other small animals, and Gunnison County, CO, which reported a 97% placement rate for dogs and 92% for cats.
- And there may be more to come as several communities are looking for people to run their animal shelters, including Dallas, TX, Waco, TX, Steamboat Springs, CO, and others. Aside from a legislative mandate, like the Companion Animal Protection Act, who runs the shelter is the single most important variable as to whether animals live or die.
And finally, about 20% of relinquishment to shelters involves housing issues and the problem is getting worse. People should not have to choose between losing a family member or losing their home. Thankfully, there is a solution. New legislation to ban housing discrimination for people who live with an animal companion will soon be introduced in a Northeast state. If passed, it will be the first in the nation to extend existing protections for kids to pets.
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