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 1234 – Concerning the civil forfeiture of animals seized for abuse or neglect.
Status: Passed House of Representatives; the bill has been referred to the Senate Law & Justice Committee for a March 9
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 could 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 and their money refunded.
What You Can Do: You can contact Senate Law & Justice Committee and express your concern that an owner should be guaranteed of having their animals returned and money refunded if found not guilty. 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 senator is).
- House Bill 1012 – Addressing the response to extreme weather events.
Status: Passed the House of Representatives; referred to the Senate State Government & Elections 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: You are encouraged to express your support to members of the Senate State Government & Elections 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 senator is).
- House Bill 1424 – Concerning consumer protection with respect to the sale and adoption of dogs and cats.
Status: Passed the House of Representatives; awaiting referral in the Senate.
Summary: This bill would further restrict the sale of all dogs and cats at pet stores in the state of Washington. The bill has been amended to allow for Washington pet stores to continue selling dogs and cats so long as the animals are sourced in adherence with current state breeding regulation or from a USDA licensed broker. The bill was also amended to remove an exemption from Washingtonian breeders who were USDA licensed before January 1, 2010; this bill would see all breeders in the state subject to state caps on the number of intact dogs that can be kept.
What You Can Do: You are encouraged to contact Representative April Berg to express your concerns with House Bill 1424. You can do so at email@example.com or (425) 939-8423. If you are a constituent, be sure to mention that when contacting her office (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 firstname.lastname@example.org.