Colleagues – Thank you for your support of SB 6196, designed to expand the limited veterinary services that shelters and animal control agencies can offer to low-income clients.
Senator Cleveland and the five co-sponsors of the bill who serve on the Senate Health and Long-Term Care Committee had alerted us the bill might not move forward due to the session’s impending cut-off dates. Yet we are very pleased to report that yesterday’s hearing was a very positive start to what we know will be a multi-month process to change the existing law. Representatives from Kitsap Humane Society, Tacoma/Pierce County Humane Society, Humane Society of Southwest Washington (HSSWWA), Idaho Humane Society, PAWS and the Federation presented compelling testimony that was complemented by written testimony sent in by nine or more Federation member agencies. (The Federation written testimony is attached for your reference.)
The team of Stacey Graham and Lisa Feder of HS SW WA must be complimented for the groundwork they’ve already done, and for working with Senator Cleveland to be an amazing champion for this bill. Thank you Stacey, Lisa and the Humane Society of Southwest Washington!
In the upcoming months, Stacey and Lisa will be working closely with the Federation to engage the animal welfare community, pet guardians and veterinarians to better understand why the current law needs to change. We’ve already spoken with the Veterinary Board of Governors/Department of Health and the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association, and will be meeting with them again to address concerns and refine the bill’s current language so we are well positioned to gain support and ideally its passage in the 2019 legislative session.
We’ll be asking for your input, your support and ideas, so please watch for upcoming communication on this effort that will dramatically improve our ability to save more lives and keep pets and their families together.
Kay Joubert, CAWA
Director Companion Animal Services