The cat clause: Proposed budget would allow feline adoptions

In this Friday, June 16, 2017 photo, a cat named Casey licks his chops while being held by Lissa Mascio at the at the New Hampshire Humane Society shelter in Laconia, N.H. Mascio, the shelters development director, and other officials have been urgiThe Associated Press
In this Friday, June 16, 2017 photo, a cat named Casey licks his chops while being held by Lissa Mascio at the at the New Hampshire Humane Society shelter in Laconia, N.H. Mascio, the shelter's development director, and other officials have been urging the state legislature to allow adoptions of cats with feline immunodeficiency virus. (AP Photo/Holly Ramer)

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.