Katz says that San Francisco's "live release rate" is 85 percent; this is the tally of the proportion of animals that enter the shelter breathing and leave the same way (sans owner-requested euthanasia).
The director predicts that shelters in other parts of California that have been harder hit by the economic crunch may well start culling animals more quickly -- meaning that, if your dog hops the fence when you're out of town for a long weekend, that could be all it takes. "I'm a little torn on this," admits Katz. "I know people are suffering all over the city and state because of health and human services cuts. That said, millions of animals are being put down every year becuase there aren't enough places for them to be placed."
And, she notes, it could have been worse: Prior to suggesting a mere rolling back of the Hayden Bill, the governor proposed doing away with any waiting periods whatsoever -- meaning you could catch-and-dispatch a dog or cat within a matter of hours. Still, the plan to ease the rules governing the killing of dogs and cats is no done deal. Nothing gets people worked up like stories about animals -- and it's a good bet that a flood of angry calls and letters may sway this public debate.
In the meantime, on July 1 the SFACC is celebrating its 20th anniversary by offering 20 percent discounts on adoptions.
We're just putting it out there...