After a puppy was put down by mistake at an L.A. County shelter last year, a new bill is being introduced to prevent it from happening again.
California Assemblyman Bill Essayli on Friday announced AB 595, or “Bowie’s Law,” to prevent other animals from being mistakenly put down.
Bowie the puppy was euthanized at Baldwin Park Animal Center late last year after a rescue organization had shown expressed interest in him. His death sparked outrage.
“It’s a gut punch, anytime, not just with Bowie, but anytime,” Shoshi Gamliel with Underdog Heroes Rescue said during a news conference announcing the bill. “No dog deserves to die without a chance.”
The bill would require all California animal shelters to post online the exact day an animal would be euthanized at least 72 hours before or face a criminal violation.
Essayli said the second part of the bill calls for a statewide study to look at underlying issues and permanent solutions to mistaken euthanasia.
“My response to shelters who say they don’t have the time or money to post 72 hours before an animal is put down, I would say it takes more time and energy to kill a dog than it does to post on a website,” the assemblyman said.
He urged supporters to contact assembly members and state senators to encourage them to vote for Bowie’s Law.
Following Bowie’s death, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion to reduce the rate of euthanized animals in the care of Animal Care and Control. It called for a “full accounting” of what led to Bowie being put down and a plan to prevent similar incidents.
Between July and November of 2022, nearly 4,000 animals in the county’s care were euthanized out of roughly 12,000, officials highlighted. By comparison, the city of Los Angeles has about a 87% saving rate at local shelters.