WASHINGTON STATE LEGISLATIVE ALERT FROM PIJAC AND THE CAVALRY GROUP
URGENT: WASHINGTON STATE HOUSE CONSUMER PROTECTION AND BUSINESS COMMITTEE IS MEETING ON HB 2344, JANUARY 31, 2020 AT 8 AM PST.
INFORMATION FROM PIJAC - PET INDUSTRY JOINT ADVISORY COUNCIL
What It Means:
As written, the bill would prohibit all of Washington State’s retail pet stores from selling any dog or cat “unless such dogs or cats have been obtained from an animal care and control agency or an animal rescue group.” This will limit consumer choice and do nothing to stop inhumane breeding. Prospective pet owners will no longer be able to get their pet from a pet store that provides consumer protections and information about the animal’s health and history that is required by law—and not offered by other sources including shelters, rescues, breeders and online sources.
What House Bill 2344 Says:
This act would prohibit pet shops from offering for sale cats or dogs that are not obtained from an animal care agency or animal rescue.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 16.52 RCW to read as follows:
(1) A retail pet store may not sell or offer for sale any dog or cat.
(2) A retail pet store may collaborate only with an animal care and control agency or animal rescue group, as those terms are defined in RCW 82.04.040, to offer space for these entities to showcase adoptable dogs or cats. However, the retail pet store may not have any ownership interest in the animals offered for adoption and may not receive a fee for providing space for the adoption of any of the animals.”
What You Can Do If You Have Concerns About This Bill:
Please contact the committee members immediately by sending emails to the committee NOW supporting Washington’s responsible pet stores.
Contact EVERYONE you know in Washington or in the pet trade and urge them to send emails to these legislators. The more that lawmakers realize how many people oppose this bill, and why, the better chance we have to make sure it is stopped in its tracks.
INFORMATION FROM THE CAVALRY GROUP
“Sponsored by Representatives Appleton, Walen, and Pollet, HB2344 criminalizes pet stores for selling puppies and kittens from USDA licensed, regulated breeders while urging pet stores to sell only pet supplies and allocate space to allow for the adoption of dogs and cats from shelters, yet "may not receive a fee for providing space for the adoption of any of the animals." (Sec 2:2)
Shelters and rescues are exempt from the laws that are required of USDA licensed professional breeders.
HB2344 will destroy jobs and revenue for Washington State while putting the health and safety of Washington consumers and citizens at risk by directing them to obtain a shelter pet with questionable health and temperament and no traceable history as to where the animal came from and what issues might be associated with the animal.
Mandating that pet stores provide animals from UNREGULATED sources while banning the sale of animals from licensed, inspected, regulated breeders is irresponsible and an insurance nightmare just waiting to happen.
- Typically, shelters and rescues do not carry general liability insurance to protect consumers.
- Pet stores are accountable, traceable sources for pets, and are legitimate businesses, which are self-sustained and bring a steady stream of tax revenue to the state of Washington.
- Pet stores provide veterinarian inspected, healthy puppies and kittens from licensed, regulated breeders.
- Pet stores also provide a health guarantee to each new owner.
- Pet stores provide veterinary care and consumer protection; pet stores help inform consumers to find the best breed to fit their lifestyle and family, pet store visits ensure compatibility with the prospective pet, and pet stores rely on customer satisfaction.
HB2344 is written with a clear bias against both pet stores and breeders with the desire to put both out of business because they do not align with the ideology of the bill sponsors and the animal rights groups which urged Representatives Appleton, Walen, and Pollet to put forth this measure.”