On Friday, January 13, a bill that will protect certain owners and pets during extreme weather situations passed out of a Washington State House committee.
The bill now goes to the House Appropriations Committee. Washington state residents are encouraged to contact the House Appropriations Committee to encourage them to support House Bill 1012. Scroll down for contact information.
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. In anticipation of future severe weather events, this bill aims to provide state funding for localities to develop safe places for people and their pets to go during extreme weather.
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” and for transporting individuals considered socially vulnerable (including the elderly, those with disabilities, those without transportation, and lower income individuals) to the facilities.
As part of this program, grants funding would be used for establishing facilities 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 House Appropriations Committee. Those who wish to contact members of the committee can do so by clicking HERE.
If you are a constituent of a committee member, be sure to mention that when contacting them. Click HERE to find out who your state representative is.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.