CACDA and SHAC Joint Response to Charting a Path Forward: Reaching California’s policy to save all adoptable
California Animal Control Directors Association and State Humane Association of California Joint Response to Charting a Path Forward: Reaching California’s policy to save all adoptable and treatable animals
April 16, 2014 – The California Animal Control Directors Association (CACDA) and the State Humane Association of California (SHAC) represent virtually every animal‐sheltering organization in California and the interests of the millions of donors, volunteers, and taxpayers supporting their programs. The guiding principle of our organizations is to represent the best interests of California’s animals and residents. Our member shelters house and care for the homeless, reunite the lost, rehabilitate the injured, strive to find families for the adoptable and treatable, protect the neglected and abused, and promote public health and safety. To that end, we frequently work in Sacramento to further these goals through legislation and advocacy, seek the counsel of experts in our field from around the globe, and collaborate with one another via mutual aid agreements, policy meetings, and regularly‐scheduled roundtables.
In early 2012, four animal‐welfare advocates formed a group to analyze and make recommendations regarding animal‐sheltering practices in light of the suspension of state‐mandated funding for animal shelters. An ensuing “stakeholders” group was selected by these four people and the entire process – including the meeting agendas, drafting of a resulting so‐called “white paper”, and the format of a statewide listening tour – was controlled by this group of four. Ultimately, this “white paper” – a document entitled Charting a Path Forward: Reaching California’s policy to save all adoptable and treatable animals – is a reflection of these four peoples’ views and priorities. Their views do not represent a unanimous agreement among the members of the stakeholder group itself or California’s sheltering community as a whole. Hence, this paper should be viewed as an opinion piece, not as an authoritative document.
In response to the paper, a coalition of 19 public and private animal‐welfare agencies comprised of highly‐experienced and ‐respected sheltering professionals in California, most of whom run large and influential organizations and have decades of experience in these matters, came together to issue a rebuttal. The response is proof that there is anything but consensus about the paper among California’s animal‐welfare professionals. It addresses not only the mistakes made in the paper; but it also identifies what is missing from the paper, such as potential negative effects on public health and safety, wildlife, and domestic pets.
CACDA and SHAC encourage all readers of the paper to fully understand its history and limitations. We welcome the input of California’s animal‐welfare community and seek to work with all stakeholders to reach the best result for the people and animals in California.
Marcia Mayeda Madeline Bernstein
President, Board of Directors President, Board of Directors
California Animal Control Directors Association State Humane Association of California