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May 7, 2009 

The Washington State Legislature wraps up with protections for pets

Thanks to you—caring citizens who contacted your representatives about bills affecting animals—the Washington State Legislature adjourned April 26 with some exciting protections for animals! Governor Gregoire is now reviewing and signing these bills into law.

Below is a list of the bills that passed the legislature this session. Be sure to visit our 2009 Washington State legislation page for the final status of the bills PAWS followed this year:

  1. ESSB 5651—the puppy mill bill, which prohibits breeders from possessing more than 50 unsterilized dogs and requires basic animal welfare standards, was signed into law by Governor Gregoire on April 30. Washington is now one of the only three states in the country to limit the size of these large-scale breeding facilities!
  2. SSB 5402—Seraphina's bill, (named after a rescued dog who survived severe neglect by her guardian) prohibits people convicted of felony animal cruelty from owning animals in the future. SSB 5402 was also signed into law by Governor Gregoire on April 30. This Washington law now includes a permanent ban on future pet ownership for repeated animal cruelty convictions!
  3. HB 1148—the pet protective orders bill, allows courts to grant specific protections for pets in cases of domestic violence. This bill was passed by the legislature and is waiting to be reviewed and signed by the Governor. Given the repeated research which shows a link between animal cruelty and violence against humans, this bill is a step forward in protections for both human and animal victims of domestic violence. You can follow this bill and others scheduled to be signed into law on Governor Gregoire's 2009 bill action page.

Thank Governor Gregoire for signing these important protections for pets into law:

  1. Visit http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/default.asp to use her online action form.
  2. Select "2009 Legislation" as the subject of your message and write a brief courteous note thanking her for signing ESSB 5651, SSB 5402 into law, and politely encourage her to sign into law HB 1148.

On behalf of animals who cannot speak for themselves, thank you!


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A Northwest leader in protecting animals since 1967, the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) shelters homeless animals, rehabilitates injured and orphaned wildlife, and empowers people to demonstrate compassion and respect for animals in their daily lives.

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PAWS, P.O. Box 1037, Lynnwood, WA 98046