Your opinion matters! Olympia needs your voice to protect Washington State's animals
Your representatives need to hear from you this month about the bills
that will affect animals in 2008 and beyond---the legislative session
only runs through March 12! Of the animal-related bills PAWS is monitoring three bills below need your immediate action. Use the talking points under each bill and make it your personal goal today to speak out for animals!
- Support emergency animal planning in Washington State with SSB 5106!
The Animal Emergency Planning bill requires state and local agencies to
create plans for service animals and companion animals in the event of
a disaster or emergency. Washington State households share their lives
with an estimated 3 million animals, making this bill crucial to our
state's emergency disaster planning. Given
the recent tragedy in our state---the 2007 winter floods that left
thousands of animals in southwestern Washington injured or
drowned---this bill takes measures to protect citizens and their
animals. Despite this, SSB 5106 is still meeting opposition, which is why it's so critical that legislators hear from you. Respectfully urge your representatives to support this important emergency planning bill.
- Tell your representatives you oppose HB 2438 which allows hound hunting of cougars.
HB 2438 is unfortunately gaining momentum in the legislature and is
backed by state department officials as a practical wildlife management
tool. However, this bill is not about wildlife management, but rather
about recreational hunting. State wildlife agents already have the
authority to remove "problem cougars" with hounds when public safety is
a concern. HB 2438 would make hound hunting of cougars---problem or
not---a permanent hunting practice in five counties, and allow other
counties to opt in if they meet minimal requirements.
The debate over where cougars belong in Washington State's ecosystem is
filled with controversy and contradiction. Recent studies have shown
that cougar populations are actually in decline. There is also still no
evidence to support the use of dogs to hunt cougars as the best method
for reducing human-cougar conflicts. And yet, while the legislature
discusses the fate of Washington's cougar population---residing on wild
lands that continue to shrink due to human encroachment---others
proposed making the cougar our state mammal! Don't
let HB 2438 circumvent the wishes of Washington citizens---our state
overwhelmingly voted to ban the widespread hunting of cougars with
hounds in 1996 with passage of I-655.
representative today and respectfully remind them it is their
responsibility to uphold the wishes of Washington citizens by opposing bill HB 2438.
Insist that our state finds humane methods for managing and coexisting
with Washington's most reclusive and ecologically essential wild cat.
- Support healthy pets in Washington State with SB 6408!
The Healthy Pets bill, also known as the "pet lemon law," gives
consumers a legal means to seek reimbursement if they've purchased sick
pets from pet stores or breeders. The bill also requires pet dealers to
disclose certain information about pets they are selling, to maintain
records of animals sold, and it prohibits dealers from selling animals
with obvious signs of diseases or other health conditions. Dealers
would be required to post notification of the purchasers' rights in the
store---an important means of consumer education. Tell
your senator that you support Healthy Pets Bill SB 6408 so that
citizens have a right to legal recourse when they become unfortunate
victims of purchasing a sick pet from a pet dealer.
Sending an e-mail to your representative is EASY!
Calling your representative is FAST!
- Find your legislators at the Washington State Legislature's website.
- Dial the legislative hotline toll-free: 1.800.562.6000 or for hearing impaired: 1.800.635.9993
- Hours are Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Ask to speak with the aide handling the issue you are concerned about.
- Use the info above to help you voice your opinion to your representatives.
- Be courteous, brief and leave your phone number, e-mail and home address.
Tell PAWS how you advocated for animals
with us what you did to contact your representatives about 2008 bills
affecting animals. Was it easy? Did we give you enough information
about the bills? Did you get a response? We want to hear it all. E-mail
us, or cc us on your e-mails to the legislature at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for speaking out for those who have no voice. Together we are creating a better world for animals.