As Washington state’s legislative comes to a close, House Bill 1234 sits on Governor Jay Inslee’s desk; having already passed the House of Representatives and the Senate. This bill expands the reasons allowed for seizing an owner’s animals in suspected cruelty cases and doesn’t guarantee their return in the event the accused is found innocent.
Contact Governor Inslee by phone at 360-902-4111 or by message to express your concern with House Bill 1234 and state that an owner should be guaranteed of having their animals returned if found not guilty.
This proposed bill addresses the issue of animals being seized on cruelty charges, and the payment of their care during impoundment. As currently constructed, the bill expands the legal justification for an animal to be seized and could cause a person to permanently forfeit their animals even if they are ultimately found not guilty of charges. AKC is encouraged by the amendments to the bill that would see an owner’s attorney’s fees and money spent on cost of care returned in the event the owner is found innocent, as it is believed that this condition should deter frivolous cases. However, AKC is still troubled regarding the possibility of an owner being found innocent and not being guaranteed to have their animals returned.
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.