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Girl Speaks Out for Shelter Animals
March 11, 2012

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A 9-year-old California girl has become a political activist on behalf of thousands of animals.

Hannah Conway, of Vista, has begun a campaign titled "Animals Don't Have Voices But Kids Do," as a way to draw attention to a proposal by California's governor, Jerry Brown, to save up to $46 million by reducing the number of days that animal shelters hold on to unclaimed animals before euthanization. The current law provides six days' worth of money to shelters for feeding, housing, and providing medical care for the stray animals. The proposed law would cut that funding to three days.

Three days wasn't enough for young Hannah, and she took her efforts to her teachers and her fellow students' parents, collecting hundreds of signatures in the process. The idea is to gain enough awareness of the proposed law to make sure that Californians know how that money might be saved.

Word from the state finance office was that the bill, one of several money-saving proposals from the governor's office, would affect only the funding that the state provided to shelters, which would be, as now, free to keep animals as long as they wanted. And, for the record, Hannah's State Assemblyman is on record as supporting the law as it is.

According to the Human Society of the U.S., most animal shelters don't set a limit for animals' stay at shelters. Such decisions are commonly made on factors such as the health of animals.

The Humane Society also says that although more than 3 million animals are euthanized each year, that is a far smaller percentage of the animal population than in previous years. In addition, the HSUS and and the Fund for Animals, a partner organization, have more wildlife sanctuaries than ever before. 
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