Capitol Alert

Four ways the California budget affects dogs and cats

This image produced on Nov. 21, 2014, provided by Stargate Studios and recorded by cinematographer Sam Nicholson, shows cats and dogs facing each other on the line of scrimmage in a scene from a fanciful Cats vs. Dogs football game scheduled to appear on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015.
This image produced on Nov. 21, 2014, provided by Stargate Studios and recorded by cinematographer Sam Nicholson, shows cats and dogs facing each other on the line of scrimmage in a scene from a fanciful Cats vs. Dogs football game scheduled to appear on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015. AP

Gov. Jerry Brown’s new budget plan is full of proposed spending on people (human beings are a major constituency of Brown’s). But Fido and Fluffy matter, too. In a shameless quest to pique the interest of the pet owning public, here are four ways Brown’s $164.7 billion spending plan stands to affect your dog or cat:

1. Continuing suspension of a state law requiring animal shelters to keep dogs and cats longer before euthanizing them. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office long ago recommended the mandate's repeal – finding no link between the law and programs that encourage animal adoption – and the mandate has been suspended since 2009.

2. Appropriating $203,000 for the state Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind, which issues licenses for guide dog training in California.

3. Appropriating $4.4 million for operation of the state Veterinary Medical Board. The board, which licenses veterinarians and enforces the California Veterinary Medicine Practice Act, does not receive general fund money. The appropriation is from its own special fund.

4. Appropriating $184,000 for grant awards to local animal shelters to provide free or low-cost spay and neuter services for dogs and cats. The money is generated by a tax check-off box on individual taxpayer returns. The budget allocates an additional $150,000 from the Pet Lover’s License Plate Program to veterinarians for free or low-cost animal sterilizations.

Call David Siders, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1215. Follow him on Twitter @davidsiders.

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