24 posts categorized in "Legislation"

You may have heard the news about Snohomish County potentially ending its contract with PAWS to house stray animals from unincorporated areas. The contract is scheduled to end effective January 1, 2011 if approved by the Snohomish County Council.  PAWS is deeply concerned about the effect this will have on the community and its animals. We have been proud to serve as the animal shelter for Snohomish County for more than 20 years, and have been an essential resource and safety net for the citizens and animals of the County for more than 40 years.

Adoptable Dog Cora at PAWS
If the proposed 2011 Snohomish County Budget is approved as-is, animals like Cora, who was found in unincorporated Snohomish County, would no longer be brought to PAWS for sheltering.

The number of animals

PAWS and the Everett Animal Shelter have been the contracted agencies to provide stray services for the County for quite some time. In 2009, PAWS housed more than 1,200 stray cats and dogs from unincorporated Snohomish County, the vast majority brought to us by caring citizens who took time to bring lost, scared animals to safety.

If the County ends its contract with PAWS, citizens will have only one place to take those animals.  Per Snohomish County Code 9.12.055, PAWS will not be allowed to take in and house stray animals from unincorporated areas of Snohomish County, and will have to instruct citizens to take strays to the one designated County shelter in Everett.

Tough choices

Times are tough and PAWS supports the County in efforts to achieve a sustainable budget. We appreciate that the budget would still retain key services sought by the community, including animal sheltering services. In this economy we are seeing an ever increasing number of animals abandoned and neglected because of foreclosures, evictions, job loss and hard times. Eliminating PAWS as a location where citizens and animal control officers can bring animals does not reduce the need. It simply makes the service less convenient and less accessible.

We are concerned that the elimination of a second animal shelter within the County will not achieve the financial reductions envisioned by the Auditor’s office, and will negatively impact the citizens at a time when so many are experiencing the hardships of a difficult economy.

PAWS is concerned that fewer animals will be picked up which would mean more animals on the street to become injured, to potentially cause car accidents when they run into the road, and to breed, thus increasing the overall number of animals who will need help.

The County Auditor stated that one of the reasons behind the elimination of this contract for cost savings is the annexations proposed to occur sometime in late 2012, which might diminish the need for stray services in the southern portion of the County. We aren’t aware of any date certain for annexations, but agree when they occur, it would be appropriate for the County to no longer provide for stray services in the affected area of the County.

PAWS is also concerned for our colleagues at the City of Everett animal shelter. We fear that taking on an additional 1,000-plus animals at a time when they recently expressed a lack of sufficient staffing to handle the current workload, will stretch the facility and staff to a point where they may face the need to euthanize healthy, adoptable animals – a practice they have worked very hard to avoid.

PAWS’ shelter is not closing

If this decision goes through, it affects our ability to take in strays from unincorporated areas of Snohomish County. However, PAWS will continue to take in owner-surrendered cats and dogs as we have the space and resources, as we always have. We will continue to provide adoption services—through PAWS last year more than 2,000 cats, dogs, puppies and kittens were matched with loving families. PAWS contracts to house strays with other municipalities and will continue to take in stray animals from Brier, Bothell, Kenmore, Lynnwood, Lake Forest Park, Mill Creek, Mukilteo and Shoreline.

A Northwest leader since 1967, PAWS also rehabilitates injured and orphaned wildlife, offers effective, humane information for preventing conflicts with wild animals, and provides educational programs in area schools and throughout the community. Community support and the work of more than 1,000 volunteers are vital to PAWS' ability to do this work. 

What you can do

The Snohomish County Council is accepting comments and community input on the proposed budget, and would appreciate your views on the Executive’s proposal regarding stray services for animals from unincorporated Snohomish County. The County budget will be approved by November 22. If you’d like to comment on the 2011 proposed budget, you can do so through the County’s website or by contacting your councilmember.


CAS_Kitten_01 Great news! On July 21, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an act that would prevent the commercial trade of the horrible “crush” videos (showing women’s high heels crushing and impaling small animals). The vote was almost unanimously in favor. Thank you to everyone who contacted your representative to make this happen! Read my previous post asking you to take action on this act.

Congress is about to adjourn for the summer, but when they return in September, we hope to see the Senate introduce the companion bill and move it just as quickly through the process. I’ll keep you posted.

Ever heard of “crush” videos? How about as they relate to animal cruelty? If you’ve got a horrible image going in your mind, you won’t believe that creating and selling these videos are now legal again. Are you appalled? I know I was when I read about it. 

This April, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a 10-year federal law that made it illegal to create and sell these brutal “crush” videos of torture on defenseless animals.

A cute kitten safe at PAWS So what can you do?

Simply enter your state and zip and use the message below to ask your U.S. Representative to co-sponsor and support H.R. 5092 amending the Crush Act. It’s important to personalize the subject line and add polite, personal touches to the email below. Congress gets a ton of email so we need to get yours noticed. 

Dear (Your Representative’s Name),

As your constituent, I’m asking you to co-sponsor and support H.R. 5092 amending the Crush Act if you have not already done so.

Before a 1999 law was enacted, approximately 3,000 horrifying “crush" videos were available, selling for up to $300 apiece. Those videos (entailing acts such as women in high-heeled shoes impaling and torturing small animals) disappeared soon after the law was passed.

I hope you will work to get H.R. 5092 enacted amending the Crush Act so that we can once again ban this kind of intentional torture of defenseless animals for the sake of profit.

(Your name, phone number and home address)

Research shows people who abuse animals are more likely to be violent toward other people. These “crush” videos not only cause horrible animal suffering, but they promote violence to both animals and humans.

Public outrage over these videos helped to put a law in place in 1999 banning the commercial sale of this kind of animal cruelty. We can do it again. Write your legislators!

Read more on actions taken to ban “crush” videos and background on the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling and a more background on a 2009 investigation and 1999 ruling.

As a new blogger for PAWS, I’m excited to share my world of “public affairs” with you. I’ll be blogging about animal issues, legislation that impacts animals, and how you can transform your animal compassion into action!

Mar 16


I wanted to be the first to welcome you to the new and improved paws.org!

We hope you like the changes. With lots of photos showcasing the amazing animals we are honored to help every day, clear and simple navigation, and the new blog, you can stay up-to-date on issues, find solutions for challenges you may be having with an animal, and be inspired by the breathtaking stories your support makes possible. 

While the site may look different, you’ll still find lots of useful fact sheets in our Resource Library. You can treat yourself to browsing photos and descriptions of the many wonderful animals available for adoption. Check out the cool and educational kids section with many ideas on fun activities kids can do to help animals. Stay updated on happenings at PAWS in our events calendar. And if you are looking for effective, humane solutions for conflicts with wildlife, we can offer you lots of great tips.

About_Annette_02 Please take a few moments to see what we’ve created for you.  Let us know what you think by e-mailing webmaster@paws.org. Your feedback is always welcome!

All the best,

Annette Laico
Executive Director