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Governor Arnie says “Hasta La Vista Baby”
to strays termination

THE KILLER cyborg has a heart it seems. ‘Terminator’ movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is currently the governor of California, has reversed his decision to let stray cats and dogs be destroyed almost immediately in state animal shelters.

An international outcry had greeted the proposal, intended to save the California taxpayer $14 million (£7.68 million) a year, that would have ended a six-day period of grace for dogs, cats, birds, rabbits and more exotic species including turtles and pot-bellied pigs.

Protests by the United Animal Nations group, which labelled Mr Schwarzenegger the ‘Pet Terminator’, and the advice of his daughters, Katherine and Christina, forced a U-turn from the Governor’s office, announced on Friday last week.

Mr Schwarzenegger, who inherited a huge budget deficit, is known for his assured populist touch. It quickly became apparent, though, that the pet terminator bill was a public relations disaster, especially for a governor who owns three dogs: Sarge, the ‘cockapoo’ crossbreed, and two yellow Labradors, Sammy and Spunky. A King Charles spaniel wearing a ‘Don’t kill me Arnold’ sign around its neck led barked protests from the State Capitol lawn. Extra phone lines in the governor's offices were swamped by calls.

"That's not me," Mr Schwarzenegger eventually concluded of the proposal. "I have three dogs. And of course I grew up with every animal you can think of. I'm an animal lover.

Animals will be kept in the shelters for six days and everything will stay exactly the same."

Every year, 600,000 pets are put down in California animal shelters. However, the six-day grace period allows new homes to be found for some animals, and for owners to be reunited with pets who have gone missing.

It looks like Mr Schwarzenegger has successfully fended off the attack, so he is probably justified is saying "I’ll be back", whilst his u-turn has prevented pet-loving voters from utilising another well known but somewhat more explicit phrase from his first Terminator movie.