February 21, 2012
Animal Advocates Lobby Washington Lawmakers for Animal Welfare Legislation
Citizens from across Washington participating in Humane Lobby Day 2012 will meet with lawmakers at the capitol today to urge them to support legislation to protect animals. Specific bills include measures to improve wildlife management, create a state-wide companion animal sterilization fund and increase protection for police dogs and horses.
“Attendees of Humane Lobby Day will remind state lawmakers that voters want to promote humane interactions with wildlife, support the spaying and neutering of pets and want to impose greater penalties on people who harm police dogs and horses,” said Dan Paul, The HSUS’ Washington state director. “This event is a great opportunity for Washington animal advocates to learn citizen lobbying techniques and connect with their state representatives.”
The Humane Society of the United States and Wolf Haven International are sponsoring Humane Lobby Day.
Attendees will urge their representatives to support S.B. 6139, which is sponsored by Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island. This legislation is designed to protect large carnivores from becoming habituated to humans through feeding, increase penalties for illegally killing wolves and reimburse farm animal owners for losses resulting from carnivore predation.
The advocates will also show support of S.B. 5151, sponsored by Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline, which would create a state-wide spay and neuter assistance fund to help curb the state’s pet overpopulation problem. Attendees will also encourage lawmakers to support H.B. 2191, sponsored by Rep. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, which would establish civil penalties for the harm of police dogs and horses.
Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, was also on hand during the event to collect his HSUS Humane State Legislator Award. Each year The HSUS recognizes state legislators across the country who have initiated path-breaking animal protection legislation and demonstrably advanced reform in the policy-making arena. Sen. Ranker was recognized for sponsoring SB 5688, which prohibits people from selling, trading or distributing shark fins or derivative products including cartilage supplements. This important bill was signed into law last year and will spare countless sharks from enduring the cruel and wasteful practice of shark finning.
Washington ranks sixth in The HSUS’ 2011 state animal protection rankings, which grades each state based on a wide range of animal protection laws dealing with pets, animal cruelty and fighting, wildlife, animals in research, horses and farm animals. The state gained points for having the strongest laws in the country prohibiting the possession of dangerous wild animals as pets.
Media Contacts: Jordan Crump, 301-548-7793, firstname.lastname@example.org