(KCPW News) Animal shelters would have to wait five days and attempt to locate the original owner of a pet before providing it to a research facility, under a bill passed in a House Committee this morning. The bill is sponsored by Democratic Representative Jennifer Seelig, who added an amendment to the bill at the meeting.
“It strengthens the requirement for the pound or for the local government to find the private property owner of the dog or the cat, specifically it specifies including checking whether the animal has a tag or microchip.”
A shelter in Davis County recently came under fire from PETA for providing research animals to the University of Utah. Seelig said the U. is neutral about her proposal.
Salt Lake City resident Daniel Alix testified in support of the bill. He expressed frustration about losing his dog, which he said was in a pound where no one bothered to read the tag.
“Owners like myself should expect that licensing fees that I paid for that pet, and pay every year for that pet, that go toward keeping that animal shelter open, to be able to go towards that shelter worker to call me. It is the job of that shelter worker to call me,” he said. “It is the most important part of their job to pick up that phone and call.”
The bill would also allow counties and cities to ban the practice of surrendering animals for research altogether. It will now be considered on the floor of the House of Representatives.