Legislative Watch

Bill to help reduce neglect of dogs in Washington State moving to next phase in the legislature.

There was some exciting progress for two of the bills that PAWS supported during the 2017 legislative session. Senator Fain's bill, SSB 5356, to improve the humane treatment of dogs was signed into law by the Governor and takes effect on July 23, 2017.

This bill will result in a new section to Washington State anti-cruelty code, RCW 16.52, to include the following:


1. Any dog that is restrained outside by a tether must only be restrained for a period of time that is not reckless and in compliance with this section.
a) The dog shall not be tethered in a manner that results, or could reasonably result, in the dog becoming frequently entangled on the restraint or another object.
b) If there are multiple dogs tethered, each dog must be on a separate tether and not secured to the same fixed point.
c) The tether must allow the dog to sit, lie down, and stand comfortably without the restraint becoming taut and allow the dog a range of movement.
d) A dog shall not be tethered if it is ill, suffering from a debilitation disease, injured, in distress, in the advanced stages of pregnancy, or under six months of age.
e) A tethered dog must have access to clean water and necessary shelter that is safe and protective while tethered. The shelter and water vessel must be constructed or attached in such a way that the dog cannot knock over the shelter or water vessel.
f) A dog shall not be tethered in a manner that results in the dog being left in unsafe or unsanitary conditions or that forces the dog to stand, sit, or lie down in its own excrement or urine.
g) A dog shall not be tethered by means of a choke, pinch, slip, halter, or prong-type collar, or by any means other than with a properly fitted buckle-type collar or harness that provides enough room between the collar or harness and the dogs’ throat to allow normal breathing and swallowing.
h) The weight of the tether shall not unreasonably inhibit the free movement of the dog within the area allowed by the length of the tether.
i) The dog shall not be tethered in a manner that causes the dog injury or pain
PAWS also supported efforts by the Department of Revenue to clarify and codify tax policy to exempt animal adoption fees from retail sales tax (provided the adoption is happening via a legitimate shelter, animal control or rescue group). SB 5358 passed and was signed by the Governor.

Other bills that PAWS supported this session:

SB 5094

This bill would have prohibited the breed of a dog from being considered when declaring a dog dangerous or potentially dangerous.

Prohibits a local jurisdiction from prohibiting possession of a breed of dog or declaring a breed of dog to be dangerous or potentially dangerous.

Update as of 3/9/17:  This bill make it out of committee, but was never voted on by the whole Senate, so is ‘dead’ for this session. 

HB 1095

Changes RCW 19.94.540 regarding the requirements for wholesale containers of fifty-five gallons or more of engine coolant or antifreeze to have bittering agents to protect children and pets from accidental ingestion.

Update as of 3/9/17:  This bill passed in the House and is scheduled for public hearing on March 16th in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor & Sports at 1:30 PM

HB 1110

To protect horses, this bill prohibits a person from: (1) Slaughtering a horse if the person knows or should know that the meat from the slaughtered animal is intended to be used for human consumption; and (2) Possessing, purchasing, bartering, selling, or transporting horses if the person knows or should know that the horse or its meat will be used for human consumption.

Update as of 2/27/17: This bill did not make it out of committee so is ‘dead’ for this session.

HB 1118

Provides a person with immunity from civil liability for any damage or injury that results from his or her entry into a vehicle for the purpose of rendering assistance to an animal, minor, or vulnerable adult present in the vehicle.

Update as of 2/27/17: This bill did not make it out of committee so is ‘dead’ for this session.

HB 1090

Prohibits a city or county from prohibiting the possession of a dog based upon its breed, imposing requirements specific to possession of a dog based upon its breed, or declaring a dog dangerous or potentially dangerous based upon its breed unless certain conditions are met.

Update as of 2/27/17: This bill did not make it out of committee so is ‘dead’ for this session.