Note: This page is part of the Governor's News Archive, which holds press releases from January 2009 through September 2011. Since October 2011, recent news can be found in the Newsroom and archived news is available at news.delaware.gov.
"Delaware’s New Laws Will Improve the Quality of Animal Shelters and Reduce Euthanasia"
Dover - In his weekly message, Governor Markell explains the new Delaware law he signed this summer creating first-of-their-kind animal shelter standards for Delaware. The law puts Delaware in the forefront of shelter standards in the country by ensuring that shelters provide proper veterinary care to animals, take reasonable steps to increase the likelihood of animal adoption, and address euthanasia procedures and methods. Markell also shares the story of an abandoned pet they brought into their home.
“Under the new law, shelters have to follow some new rules about care, adoption and euthanasia – like administering vaccines within eight hours of an animal’s arrival and giving an exam within 72 hours,” said Governor Markell. “They now have to check for any form of identification on animals, such as a dog tag or an electronic microchip. Our Delaware animal shelters are focused on improving adoptions, reducing euthanasia and raising the standard of care for animals. A number of groups say our law could serve as a model for the nation.”
The new law requires that shelters vaccinate an animal within 8 hours of entry; provide an exam within 72 hours of entry; improves online lost-and-found capabilities; ensures that properly trained individuals provide veterinary care; reduces the number of animals that are brought to our shelters for adoption from out-of-state shelters; and establishes requirements for vet care to make shelters more willing to adopt from one another without fear of significant treatment costs.
The law was sponsored by State Senator Patricia Blevins (D-Elsmere) and championed in the House by State Representative Melanie George (D-Bear/Newark). All five animal shelters in the state– Delaware SPCA, Kent County SPCA, Delaware Humane Association, Faithful Friends and Safe Havens Shelter - support the new standards. The Delaware Department of Agriculture will handle regulation enforcement.
At noon every Friday, a new video message is posted to the Governor’s website and YouTube channel and is distributed to Delaware media outlets. Transcripts of the messages are posted and the audio version of the Governor’s message is available on iTunes as a podcast for distribution to personal MP3 players and home computers. The Governor’s weekly message is currently being carried on the air and posted on websites by various media outlets, and the direct link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FI1nL1Jj-xc