Bowie’s law AB 595 California is an animal life saver

Bowie’s law is a significant advance in the humane treatment of animals in California according to Nathan Winograd. And it is a model for the rest of America. What is it? According to the instigator and promoter of this new California law, assemblyman Bill Essayli, it requires animal shelters to post on their website 72 hours ahead of time of their intention to euthanise an animal in their care.

Bowie's law - this is Bowie who was unnecessarily killed at a pound
Bowie’s law – this is Bowie who was unnecessarily killed at a pound. Image in the public domain.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

“This law would create a notice requirement and simply say that before a healthy dog or cat is put down, the shelter has to post on their website 72 hours ahead of time of their intention to put that animal down” – Assemblyman Bill Essayli

The goal is to notify the public and rescue organisations of the impending euthanasia of a shelter animal which gives them the opportunity, as I understand it, to contact the shelter concerned and offer their assistance to adopt the animal and then find a new home for him or her. Or it might be a member of the public who recognises their companion animal.


The origin of this law is a sad story. A charming, shy 12-week-old puppy whose name was Bowie, was killed by a municipal shelter despite the fact that a rescue group had made it known that they were willing to accept him into their foster care and adopt him out to a new home.

“I just thought this was totally senseless, unnecessary and easily avoidable.” – Assemblyman Bill Essayli.

The director of the Los Angeles County pound admitted that her staff had made a mistake. She admitted that her staff “did not proactively contact a rescue group to adopt him and provide behavioural rehabilitation”.

The director admits that Bowie’s killing was “improper”. She said that changes that she has made requires two staff members to sign off on killing animals. Winograd says that this is something that was already supposed to happen after earlier incidents such as the death of Mr Pickles and some cats.

Support AB 595

Signing off by two members would not have saved Bowie under the circumstances. Winograd supports AB 595. This is because animal rescue in America is quite a complex network it seems to me. Winograd describes it like this:

“AB 595 is still needed and important since rescue groups often take custody of animals from multiple shelters, rescue particular breeds, are run by people with other jobs, and are foster-care based.”

The law will give them notice of animals that need rescuing online which precludes them from the need to travel to each one and gives them time to arrange foster care. Winograd believes that AB 595 will save more lives.

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1 thought on “Bowie’s law AB 595 California is an animal life saver”

  1. The murder of Bowie really pissed me off! He was just a baby who wasn’t really old enough to be 100% socialized. When I get a puppy I won’t take them around other pets, like at dog parks etc until they get their rabies shot at 6 months old. They never gave him a chance. Some places have no right to call themselves a shelter. LA county is the worse! They sell the bodies of the dead for rendering, meaning that the next time you shower your soap and shampoo is most likely made from the bodies of dead cats and dogs, including cows and pigs. They pile the dead into 55 gallon drums and the county get paid per pound!
    You’ve even wrote about it Mike only I don’t think you knew the dead pets are rendered, to make soap!
    LA city sends 200 TONS of dead animals to rendering plants! 200 TONS of dead cats and dogs EVERY month! Snopes claims it inconclusive but how else would animal euthanasia drugs get in pet food Because factory farms don’t use euthanasia drugs to kill our meat.


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