PAWS Magazine

Issue 62, Winter 2005

PAWS News and Notes

Pet Animal Welfare Statute to combat puppy mills

Well aware of the horrors of “puppy mills,” animal lovers, shelters and national groups—including the American Kennel Club—are taking action to support pending legislation on the national level. The Pet Animal Welfare Statute (known as PAWS) would strengthen existing law, requiring any commercial breeder who produces more than 25 puppies or kittens and sells more than six litters of dogs or cats directly to the public in a year, to be licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Currently all commercial cat and dog breeding facilities avoid licensing required under the current Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

The bipartisan bill recognizes that the Internet’s growing popularity created an unintentional loophole in the current law, allowing commercial breeders to classify themselves as “retail pet stores,” evading all federal oversight. The Humane Society of the United States states “… raising animals in deplorable conditions and selling them to someone sight unseen has become even easier, and is a highly profitable business.” For years, PAWS (not the bill, but the Progressive Animal Welfare Society) has educated the public about the risks of purchasing animals from breeders and of the partnership in cruelty that exists between pet stores and puppy mills.

While some commercial breeders have used scare tactics claiming rescue groups will be negatively impacted by the legislation, legal analysis has shown otherwise. Contrary to their claims, PAWS believes that supporting the PAWS bill will support improvements in the treatment of animals at large-scale commercial breeding operations. Call your Senator and Representative today, and confirm your strong support of H.B. 2669 and S.B. 1139. Learn more at: resources/.

Masquerade Ball helps save animals

The Puget Sound Business Travel Association (PSBTA) held their spectacular Masquerade Ball and Auction on Friday October 21, at which more than $70,000 was raised to co-benefit PAWS and PSBTA’s scholarship and professional development initiatives. At the event—sponsored by Travizon—guests enjoyed silent and live auctions, a fine banquet and lively entertainment from The Mach One Jazz Orchestra. PAWS extends our warmest thanks to our PSBTA friends for their most generous support.

The Puget Sound Business Travel Association, the northwest chapter of the National Business Travel Association (NBTA), is the voice of business travel management. For 29 years, PSBTA has provided a network of travel service providers and business travel bookers. The goal of the organization is to make available savings opportunities, education and provides a chance for industry members to network.

It’s official: we love our pets!

As part of the Washington State Federation of Animal Care and Control Agencies (the Federation), PAWS is excited to announce the launch of the new “We Love Our Pets” specialty license plate, for sale beginning January 3, 2006. Sales of the Washington State pet-friendly plates will help fund pet sterilization programs statewide. The plate features lovable characters designed by artist and author Brian Basset, and will be available for purchase at all Washington state vehicle licensing offices. The more plates sold, the more companion animals will be spayed or neutered throughout the state! This is great news for the animals, and a fun way to share the spay/neuter message while on the road. Plate numbers are assigned sequentially, so the earlier you arrive at your local vehicle licensing office on January 3, 2006, the lower your plate number will be. Or, you can wait until your license renewal is due and switch to the specialty plate at that time for an added cost of $40 plus any applicable licensing fees.

Save the date for PAWS Wild Night gala event

On the evening of Saturday, March 11, 2006 at The W Hotel in downtown Seattle, a very special event will take place: PAWS’ Wild Night. Compassionate community leaders and friends will gather at our signature gala event to celebrate PAWS and raise funds to continue our life-saving work.

Chaired by animal advocate and former PAWS board member, Muriel Van Housen, Wild Night will feature a cocktail hour, a gourmet animal-friendly dinner and brief program, live and silent auctions including exciting packages and experiences, with music and dancing to finish the celebration. Check out for more information, and how to register for what promises to be a truly memorable evening!

A special opportunity to help the animals

PAWS is seeking candidates for its board of directors. Experience in fundraising, non-profit management, marketing, legal affairs, architecture and facilities planning are especially valued at this time, however, all interested parties concerned about animal welfare are encouraged to respond. Ours is an active board; meetings are held monthly, late afternoon, near downtown Seattle. Interested candidates should send a letter of interest to Annette Laico (email at


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