Late April marked another victory for animals in Washington State—Governor Gregoire signed into law SB 5065, the prevention of animal cruelty bill. The new law will gives greater protections for animals by clarifying animal cruelty law definitions and helping with compliance and enforcement of the law.
Under current law, anyone convicted of felony animal cruelty (or repeated animal cruelty violations) can own or reside with a similar animal to the one they had abused. In other words, if a person was convicted of abusing a dog, under our current law they could still own a cat. The new law closes these gaps so that people convicted of animal cruelty cannot easily become repeat offenders. Also, while the current law applies to only those who have been ordered by the court to forfeit their animals, the new law will apply to any person convicted of felony animal cruelty. The bill also steps up jail time and penalties for those convicted of second degree animal cruelty.
PAWS supported this important legislation and empowered citizens at our 2011 Humane Lobby Day in February to voice their support to their legislators. Visit our Take Action webpage for a reminder on our 2011 Humane Lobby Day wrap-up. Stay tuned for a wrap-up of the 2011 legislative session coming soon. You can plan to get in on the action in 2012—consider joining next year’s Humane Lobby Day to support legislation that will improve the lives of animals throughout the state.