On Friday, March 31, a Washington State Senate committee will consider a bill that would protect owners and pets by providing emergency shelter accommodations during extreme weather situations. The bill has already passed the House of Representatives and is nearing the finish line, but your support is needed.
Washington state residents are encouraged to support House Bill 1012. Scroll down for ways to help.
House Bill 1012 was written in response to a severe heat wave in the state in 2021 that left many people and their pets without a safe place to go. A similar bill was introduced in 2022, but it ran out of time in a shortened legislative session.
As stated in the findings, the legislature is concerned that, “pets are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather conditions…and the inability for pet owners to find pet friendly accommodations is a major barrier to accessing heating and cooling centers and other resources and prevents individuals from evacuating to safety.”
House Bill 1012 would develop an “extreme weather grant program” to help localities and federally-recognized native tribes offset the costs of assisting their communities during severe weather if they do not have the resources to help those who are “socially vulnerable”. These grants would help with the establishment and operation of “warming and cooling centers” that are pet friendly.
AKC appreciates this bill, which will allow these individuals and their pets to be transported to safe facilities that will protect their health and safety if they have no other viable options.
What You Can Do:
House Bill 1012 is scheduled for consideration in the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Friday, March 31 at 12:30 PM. Those who wish to register your support with the committee can do so by clicking HERE. After clicking the link, please select “Ways & Means” from the first drop down menu and “03/31/23 12:30 PM” from the second drop down menu. Then scroll through the list of bills and select “SHB 1012 Extreme Weather Events.”
There are two ways to register your support:
If you can’t join the hearing, select “I would like my position noted for the legislative record” and fill out the contact information page to register your support.
If you can join the hearing, select the “I would like to testify remotely” option. Fill out the form and you will be emailed a link to join the hearing. This will allow you to speak in support during the hearing.
AKC Government Relations continues to monitor bills in Washington impacting dog owners and will provide updates. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at email@example.com.