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February 1, 2019

The Washington House Committee on Consumer Protection & Business will hear House Bill 1640 in a public hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 5, and in executive session on Thursday, February 7.

HB 1640 will prohibit retail pet stores from selling any dog or cat unless the dog or cat has been obtained from an animal care and control agency or animal rescue group and the dog or cat has been spayed or neutered, or will be spayed or neutered before the buyer takes possession of the animal.

Even if you do not personally provide dogs to pet stores, this bill could have significant implications for all who want to promote the breeding and sale of healthy, purebred dogs.

Washington residents and those who have or plan to purchase a pet in Washington are strongly encouraged to contact the committee and express your concerns with House Bill 1640.  Scroll down for contact information. 

Talking Points Against HB 1640:

  • Fewer than 4 percent of pets purchased in the US come from pet shops. These laws limit choice and will do little to address any issues associated with substandard breeders.
  • This bill will ban the sale of pets from known, regulated and inspected sources, and restrict pet shops to only sell pets from unregulated and uninspected sources (i.e., shelters, rescues, and other similar organizations).
  • This bill will dramatically reduce the average person’s access and ability to choose a pet with the predictable type, mandated care, and substantiated health background that come with purebred pets from regulated sources.  Individuals who lack the resources or do not have access to private hobby breeders will be the most directly impacted.
  • This bill will harm responsible pet breeders and retailers who are regulated under federal and/or state laws, while encouraging the sale of pets that come from unlicensed and unregulated sources that are not subject to federal animal welfare or Washington consumer protection laws.
  • This bill does not require shelters or rescues to supply pet shops with dogs to sell.  A lack of supply will prove economically disastrous for these businesses and the people who are employed by them.

For additional talking points, read AKC’s position statement on Pet Choice, and the article Why Pet Shop Laws Affect You

What You Can Do:

Contact the following Representatives and ask them to not support House Bill 1640.  When contacting them, be sure to mention if you are a Washington resident or have purchased an animal in the state.

AKC Government Relations continues to closely monitor this bill.  For more information, contact AKC GR at