Washington State has taken another important step in stopping dogs coming from horrific “puppy mills” from being sold in state stores.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee recently signed HB 1424, also known as the Humane Pet Sales Bill, into law. The legislation prevents new pet stores in the state from selling live dogs.

A puppy mill is any breeding operation where breeders put profit over the welfare of the individual animals.  Dozens to hundreds of dogs often are kept crammed in filthy cages with a lack of access to the outdoors, exercise areas, veterinary care, or affection.  

Washington has some of the strongest  pet retail laws in the nation, but the existing laws can’t prevent pet stores from importing out-of-state dogs from puppy mills for sale.   

An earlier version of the bill also placed stricter requirements on existing pet stores — including that they would have to post detailed information about where they had obtained their puppies, but legislators nixed those requirements early on. 

As amended, the bill passed both the House and the Senate earlier this year with strong bipartisan support. Inslee, who has been Washington’s governor since 2013 and has passed several other animal welfare-related bills in his consecutive terms, signed HB 1424 into law on April 16. 

Animal welfare advocates applauded that decision.

This achievement represents years of work, and we are thrilled that our unwavering dedication to get this important legislation passed will have a positive impact for years to come,” said Pasado’s Safe Haven, an animal welfare nonprofit in Sultan, Wash., that championed the cause. 

We want to thank the more than 39,000 people who signed our petition demanding justice and accountability for these dogs! It’s a brighter day for Washington’s dogs due to this legislation, the dedicated work of state-based advocates, and your support!