Monday, July 26, 2010

a toast to DELAWARE!

First Shelter Law is Signed in DELAWARE!

On July 24, 2010, Governor Markell signed the first Shelter Law which actually sets state standards for the operation of animal shelters. Majority Leader Patricia Blevins, D-Elsmere and managed by Rep. Melanie L. George, D-Bear, in the House. We praise both legislators for their compassion and forward thinking and encourage them to carry the message forward to the nation. The Bill was sponsored by Delaware Senate Thank you!

Governor Markell stated that the law is grounded in compassion and it is aimed at ensuring that lost, abandoned and surrendered dogs and cats will get a better opportunity at being reunited with their families or at getting adopted.It is our sincere hope that this law serve not only as a model to the rest of the nation, but as a springboard for uniform legislative reform on the treatment of animals.

The newly state mandated requirements are basic, but the fact that they are mandated is important. In Delaware, from now on, all animal shelter will have to offer the following:

•Offer night and weekend hours to boost public adoptions.
•Hold all animals not given up by owners at least 72 hours.
•Provide medical exams and needed care within 72 hours of animals' shelter entry.
•Post incoming animals on websites in "lost and found" listings, "with sufficient detail to allow them to be recognized and claimed by their owners."
•Scan pets for microchips and check for tattoos to raise chances of returns to owners.
•Inoculate all cats and dogs for distemper within eight hours of shelter entry.
•Also within eight hours, inoculate dogs for kennel cough and parvovirus, and cats for an upper respiratory infection called feline viral rhinotracheitis and the viral disease calicivirus,
•Keep animals for at least five days after an owner starts procedures to get a pet back.
•Contact rescue groups and other shelters for possible alternatives to euthanasia, such as moving to another facility or into foster care.
Shelter operation in Delaware must now meet state standards for providing humane care and humane treatment of animals or it cannot operate.

One component of the law requires detailed record keeping of intake population, neuter, spay, treatment, reclamation by owners, adoption and euthanasia rates. More importantly, the law also sets euthanasia standards. Compliance and enforcement come under the State Department of Agriculture.

While this is a groundbreaking law, please note that these are BASIC requirements and realize that across the nation they are NOT being met.

Please, talk to your legislative bodies, we need national federal legislation. The interstate commerce of puppy mills, breeders etc. can only be regulated under federal law. IT is a multi million dollar cash cow which operates, unregulated, untaxed in the shadows at the expense of helpless animals who suffer and die daily.

It is time. This victory is groundbreaking but it is only the first step.
who is no just a pretty face

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