The cat clause: Proposed budget would allow feline adoptions

In this photo taken Jan. 15, 2016, Hemi, an American Curl mix cat is shown at Craven County Animal Control in New Bern, N.C. The cat has spent the last four years wandering Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Cherry Point, N.C., but thanks to a microchip, his owners have been tracked down to their current home in North Dakota. (Bill Hand/Sun Journal via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

LACONIA, N.H. (AP) – Animal shelter officials in New Hampshire say a provision in the state’s proposed budget could save more than nine lives.

Current law prohibits shelters in the state from transferring pets with contagious illnesses, including cats with feline leukemia virus or feline immunodeficiency virus. That means shelters have to care for these cats indefinitely, move them to other states or euthanize them, even though the illnesses pose no risk to humans or other animals. Kansas is the only other state with similar restrictions.

The New Hampshire provision would allow such cats to be adopted. State lawmakers expect to take their final vote on the overall budget bill Thursday.

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