The California governor wants to repeal parts of the Hayden Law, which requires the state to reimburse shelters for the cost of keeping stray animals alive and requires them to hold lost and stray animals for six days instead of three.
The move aims to save $23 million dollars. Pet advocates say the change will send California back to dark ages when a wandering dog caught Friday could be dead Monday.
The animal shelter cuts are part of Brown's proposed $92.5 billion budget that would eliminate 50 mandates or reimbursable amendments that have been suspended for the last two years or more, said H.D. Palmer, deputy director of California's Department of Finance. The savings would put a $728.8 million dent in a $9.2 billion deficit.
Over the years, 377 cities, counties, towns or animal control districts have been reimbursed $86 million and the state still owes $76 million, state officials said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.