Published on Feb 18, 2019

Bills to protect animals scheduled for public hearings

Contact: Sharon Swanson, Shannon McClelland

Several bills that aim to address the abuse or mistreatment of animals are scheduled for public hearings in the Legislature.

HB 1919, sponsored by Rep. Gina Mosbrucker (R-Goldendale), is the most comprehensive bill addressing animal fighting as a crime. HB 1919 defines animal fighting paraphernalia; adds ownership, possession, purchase, sale, transfer and manufacture of paraphernalia to the crime of animal fighting; adds intentional animal mutilation for the purpose of animal fighting as a class B felony; and adds abandonment of an animal that was involved in animal fighting to the crime of animal cruelty. The bill also directs the state patrol to establish a toll-free voicemail line for anonymous reporting of animal abuse, and to create a central reporting mechanism for local law enforcement. Local law enforcement would still be allowed to report directly to the FBI.

HB 1929, sponsored by Rep. John Lovick (D-Mill Creek), focuses solely on adding ownership, possession, purchase, sale, transfer, and manufacture of animal fighting paraphernalia to the crime of animal fighting.

SB 5614, sponsored by Sen. Ann Rivers (R-La Center) makes it a class B felony to harm a police dog, accelerant detection dog, or police horse if the animal dies as a result of the harm.


Dates to remember

SB 5614 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Law & Justice Committee on Monday, February 18 at 10 am

HB 1919 and HB 1929 are scheduled to be heard in the House Public Safety Committee on Monday, February 18 at 1:30 pm.

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