In less-than-hoped-for progress for animal welfare, a new bill that aims to save innocent puppies from unnecessary torment and abuse is one step closer to passing in Washington State.
Legislators pitched HB 1424 earlier this year to help close loopholes in state law that allow dogs from cruel out-of-state puppy mills to be sold in Washington pet stores. The bill passed out of committee in mid-February and is on its way to the House of Representatives.
Lady Freethinker sent a petition with more than 38,000 signatures to the committee chair in support of the important legislation. Thank you to all who signed, and to every activist who spoke out on behalf of the dogs!
But amendments made to the bill prior to its passage came as a huge blow to those championing the cause.
The original bill prohibited new pet stores from selling live puppies. It also added teeth to current laws by requiring existing pet stores that sell live puppies to post details about how and where they obtained the dogs. That information would have helped potential pet parents determine whether their puppies came from breeders operating cruel puppy mills.
Dogs in puppy mills often are stacked in wire cages with barely enough room to move. They endure painful dental and medical conditions without veterinary treatment. They’re denied exercise, socialization, and caring attention.
The horrific conditions often lead to health problems that follow the dogs to the pet stores that purchase them.
“The Consumer Protection and Business Committee has heard countless stories of Washingtonians who have unknowingly purchased a puppy mill puppy from a pet store only later to learn that the pet they have chosen has health problems due to the unhealthy conditions in which the puppy was born,” said Rep. Amy Walen, who sponsored the bill. “In Washington state, we can do better.”
But the amended bill heading to the House stripped the legislation of its critical second part. Instead of insisting on more stringent and transparent requirements for pet stores and their puppies, the amended bill allows pet stores to continue with live sales without any additional requirements.
Still, animal welfare champions and the bill’s sponsors believe the legislation is an important step toward securing a more compassionate future for Washington’s dogs.
If you haven’t already, sign our petition encouraging Washington legislators to sign this important bill and so help spare dogs from the cruelty of abusive puppy mills.