AKC continues to monitor several bills impacting dog owners in Washington state. Below are the latest updates, along with contact information if you wish to comment on any of these measures.
AKC GR will continue to provide individual updates and alerts when necessary.
Bills in Washington State Legislature:
- House Bill 1012 – Addressing the response to extreme weather events.
- Status: Recently passed the House Appropriations Committee and referred to the Joint Administrative Rules Review Committee.
- Summary: AKC strongly supports House Bill 1012. This bill 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.
- What You Can Do: The bill sits before the Joint Administrative Rules Review Committee. You are encouraged to express your support to members of the committee. Those who wish to contact members of the committee can do so by clicking HERE. If you are a constituent, be sure to mention that when contacting them (Click HERE to find out who your Representative is).
- House Bill 1634 – Concerning residential insurance policies.
- Status: Referred to the House Consumer Protection & Business Committee
- Summary: AKC is supporting House Bill 1634. The bill would disallow insurance companies from denying insurance coverage (or charging extra) simply because a dog owner has a specific breed of dog. This will protect the rights of responsible owners in the state, while still allowing action to be taken against dogs that are truly dangerous.
- What You Can Do: If you would like to express your support for the bill and an end to arbitrary breed specific discrimination in insurance policies, you can contact the House Consumer Protection & Business Committee by clicking here. If you are a constituent, be sure to mention that when contacting them (Click HERE to find out who your Representative is).
- House Bill 1234 – Concerning the civil forfeiture of animals seized for abuse or neglect.
- Status: The bill has passed the House and has been referred to the Senate Law & Justice Committee.
- Summary: 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 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; 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.
- What You Can Do: You can contact the bill’s author, Representative Roger Goodman, and express your concern that an owner should be guaranteed of having their animals returned if found not guilty. The representative can be reached at (360) 786-7878 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- House Bill 1424 – Concerning consumer protection with respect to the sale and adoption of dogs and cats.
- Status: Recently passed the House Consumer Protection & Business Committee and referred to Joint Administrative Rules Review Committee.
- Summary: This bill has been significantly amended to continue to allow pet stores to sell dogs and cats if stores source their animals from USDA certified breeders. AKC greatly appreciates the amendments to protect consumer choice. However, AKC is concerned that another amendment would no longer exempt breeders registered with the USDA before January 1, 2010, from arbitrary Washington state limits on the number of dogs allowed to be owned.
- What You Can Do: To comment on the amendments, including expanding arbitrary ownership limit laws, you are encouraged to contact the members of the Joint Administrative Rules Review Committee to express your reservations. Those who wish to contact members of the committee can do so by clicking HERE. If you are a constituent, be sure to mention that when contacting them (Click HERE to find out who your Representative is).
- House Bill 1635 – Limiting liability arising from the use of trained police dogs.
- Status: Recently passed the House Community Safety, Justice, & Reentry Committee and referred to the Joint Administrative Rules Review Committee
- Summary: AKC supports House Bill 1635. This bill would serve to develop model standards for the training and certification of canine teams to detect fentanyl. Further, beginning January 1, 2025, a state or local government, law enforcement agency, or any employee of a state or local government or law enforcement agency is immune from civil damages arising from the use of a canine to detect fentanyl if following proper rules and procedures.
- What You Can Do: Those who wish to contact members of the committee with your support of the bill can do so by clicking HERE. If you are a constituent, be sure to mention that when contacting them (Click HERE to find out who your 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 email@example.com.