SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) has introduced a bill that will allow kittens to be made immediately available for adoption to members of the public, waiving the three day hold period so that kittens who are 8 weeks or younger have a higher chance of a positive outcome.
Despite recent reductions in intake and euthanasia, cats that are admitted into public shelters continue to experience poor outcomes. Kittens, in particular, are at a high risk of euthanasia in many public animal shelters. Current law allows for the immediate euthanasia of unweaned kittens that enter a shelter without their mother.
One reason for this is that kittens are highly vulnerable to contagious diseases due to their immature immune systems. During the mandated three day hold period, kittens can easily contract an upper respiratory tract infection, pan leukopenia, ringworm, or calicivirus. The longer a kitten is in a shelter the higher the risk that they will become ill.
“I am proud to author AB 1565, which will allow members of the public to immediately adopt and remove a kitten from a shelter so that they have less likelihood of becoming ill and being euthanized. Kittens need extra attention and care, finding them forever homes as quickly as possible should not be hindered by law. A three day hold period is unnecessary,” said Assemblymember Quirk, “And more importantly, adopters will be required to ensure that the kitten is spayed/neutered at an appropriate time.”
“Given their delicate and immature immune systems, kittens are one of the most vulnerable populations of animals in a shelter. Allowing them to be quickly placed into a home, where their needs can be better met, will increase the chance of a positive outcome. This bill would waive the three day hold period in the shelter only when members of the public want to immediately adopt available kittens. The ASPCA thanks Assemblymember Quirk for introducing this lifesaving measure,” said Susan Riggs, senior director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Western region.
AB 1565 will be eligible to be heard in March.