In a bid to stop the unnecessary annual killing of over 150,000 dogs and cats in animal shelters, Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed that California become a “no-kill state.”

In his 2020-21 state budget, Newsom plans to set aside $50 million to prevent thousands of animals living in shelters and in need of adoption or simple medical treatments from being put down.

Over a period of five years, the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program will use the funds to provide a series of grants to help local communities meet California’s new goal of never killing adoptable or treatable dogs or cats.

Many animal rescues, especially those in deprived areas, lack the necessary financial and medical resources to care for animals properly. Without veterinary professionals on staff or the necessary facilities, such as isolation wards, to help animals with easily treatable infectious conditions, animals without deadly illnesses are frequently destroyed.

“This is something that I’ve been thinking about non-stop for the last 20 years,” said Kate Hurley of UC Davis, who is likely to head the new program. “What is exciting is we do have a road map. This remains a heavy lift but it can be done.”

“It’s an exciting idea,” added San Luis Obispo County Animal Series Manager Eric Anderson, “and it represents a really great potential for making some big head way into improving the homeless animals around the county.”

If approved, the no-kill proposal will provide immediate relief for sick and homeless animals and hopefully attract new shelter volunteers and donations.

Tabby cat looking at camera