The main bills PAWS is supporting:
Improving the current animal cruelty statute S.B. 5501: This bill focuses on closing loopholes and improving the current animal cruelty statues relating to the crimes of animal cruelty in the first and second degree, animal fighting, and leaving and/or confining an animal in a motor vehicle or certain enclosed spaces.
Improving the bonding and forfeiture law: This bill will help animals seized during a cruelty case investigation. The goal is to minimize the amount of time animals have to stay in the shelter to (1) help maintain their ability to be adopted and (2) to reduce the cost incurred by the shelter and animal control agency housing the animals. The law would require an owner to post a bond for the cost of the care of seized animals within 15 business days, and would clarify some contradictory language within the current law.
Fishing Line Recovery Program S.B. 5356: This bill would require the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to: (1) Establish a pilot program to coordinate the statewide collection and recycling of fishing line or monofilament; and (2) Work cooperatively with other state agencies and interested parties to establish a system to check the collection bins regularly and remove monofilament for recycling and to encourage volunteer participation in the program.
The 2015-2016 biennial session ended. The new session begins on January 9, 2017 and is scheduled to end on April 21, 2017.
PAWS will continue to work with our colleagues and legislators to improve the laws that protect animals and create more humane communities.
We thank you for being a part of this process, and encourage you to revisit this page prior to the start of the 2017 session for news and information on how you can be a part of this important solution to making Washington a better place for animals and the people who love them!