The Federation worked closely with member agencies, legislators, the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association, the ASPCA and other stakeholders to successfully champion key bills during the 2019 legislative session.
We’d like to thank the Humane Society of Southwest Washington and Senator Annette Cleveland for their leadership on the Veterinary Services bill, SB 5004, that will greatly expand access to basic veterinary care for many beloved pets. Please review the FAQ for details on what this bill accomplished and ways your agency could expand veterinary services to the pets of low-income residents in and near your community.
Member agency Pasado’s Safe Haven worked with the Federation, the ASPCA and Senator Derek Stanford to pass SB 1476 This important legislation will now stop the practice of pet stores financing dogs and cats where a security interest is held in the dog or cat by the financing company—thus subjecting the animal to possible repossession. Please review the FAQ for details on what this bill does to rotect animals and consumers.
Representative Sherry Appleton championed a bill to reduce breed-specific discrimination of dogs with the passage of HB 1026. Effective January 1, 2020, the current State RCW 16.08 will be amended to specify that a city or county may not prohibit possession/ownership of a dog based on its breed, impose requirements specific to possession/ownership of a dog based on its breed, or declare a dog to be dangerous or potentially dangerous based on its breed unless the specific conditions are met. Please review the FAQ for details on this legislation and information on how your agency can communicate with cities and counties that have current breed restrictions in place.
Other Legislative Success
|Bill title||Basic description||Bill prime sponsor|
DFW dog training,
Establishing a department
of fish and wildlife directed nonlethal program for training dogs.
|SHB 1919||Animal abuse||
Provides additional tools
for law enforcement to prosecute illegal animal fighting
SB 5000 (HB
Concerning online access
to health care resources for veterinarians and veterinary technicians.
Adoption of research
institutions that receive public funding to offer retired research dogs and
cats for adoption to animal shelters and animal welfare organizations.
How Your Agency Can Help
Your agency can help legislation to be successful too! Speak to your state senators and representatives about bills that are important to your agency and encourage their support during the legislative session. Prior to a session, ask them if they would be willing to sponsor or co-sponsor legislation, and if they express interest, share this with the Washington Federation’s legislative committee: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Most bills pass only if they have a legislator willing to champion it through the session. As their constituent, share with your legislator how important it is they use some of their time, political clout and understanding of the process to help animal-related bills to get hearings, make it out of committee, and through each step of the legislative process. By doing this, your agency can really make a difference in getting bills that protect or help animals made into state law!
Washington State has a two-year legislative cycle. The 2019-2020 legislative session started on January 14th and ended on April 28, 2019. It will resume in January of 2020.
Legislators file bills that could have positive or negative impacts on animals and the community prior to and during the session. The Federation’s Legislative Committee reviews and then monitors dozens of bills, so please check our website and Facebook page regularly for alerts.
You can also keep track of current and new bills by visiting the legislature bill tracking page. Bills that are going through the House of Representatives start with the letters “HB” while bills going through the Senate start with the letters “SB.” When a bill has another “S” in front of it, this means it is a substitute version of the bill.
Wildlife & Farm Animal Legislation
Almost every year there is a variety of legislation that affects both positively and negatively wildlife and farm animals in our State. The Federation watches for bills during the session to oppose or support, and we continue to work closely with HSUS State Director, Dan Paul, to monitor bills that involve wild and farm animals. Stay in touch with HSUS work on these issues: https://www.facebook.com/HSUSWashington/