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Ask WA Legislators to Pass These Bills on Animal Fighting

i Feb 18th by

There are committee hearings tomorrow for wo bills in the Washington State House of Representatives would outlaw animal fighting paraphernalia: HB 1919 and HB 1929.

House Bill 1919, sponsored by Reps. Mosbrucker, Appleton, Smith, Ybarra, Dye, Ormsby and Stanford, would:

  • Expand the circumstances under which a person may commit an Animal Fighting offense to include: (1) stealing an animal for animal fighting; and (2) possessing, transferring, manufacturing, or engaging in other activities relating to animal fighting paraphernalia.
  • Elevate the classification of Animal Fighting from a class C felony to a class B felony when a person intentionally mutilates an animal in furtherance of the offense.
  • Provide that a person is guilty of Animal Cruelty in the second degree when he or she abandons an animal that has been used for animal fighting and thereby causes or risks harm to the animal.
  • Require the Washington State Patrol (WSP) to establish and maintain a statewide voicemail line to allow members of the public to anonymously report incidents of animal abuse.
  • Require the WSP to establish a central repository for local law enforcement agencies to report incidents of animal abuse for submission to the National Incident-Based Reporting System.

House Bill 1929, sponsored by Reps. Lovick, Klippert, Leavitt and Stanford, would expand the circumstances under which a person may commit an Animal Fighting offense (a Class C felony) to include owning, possessing, buying, selling, transferring, or manufacturing animal fighting paraphernalia for specified purposes. Paraphernalia would include items such as “breaking sticks; cat mills; treadmills; fighting pits; springpoles; unprescribed veterinary medicine; and gaffs, slashers, heels, and any other sharp implement designed to be attached in place of the natural spur of a cock or game fowl.”

It’s important that both these bills pass. Please contact your representatives to ask that they support HB 1919 and 1929. The easiest way to find your representative is to input your address on this website.

In an email, letter or phone call, you might say:

Dear Rep. So-and-so,

I’m writing to ask that you help ensure HB 1919 and 1929 in the current legislature pass. They elevate animal fighting from a Class C to a Class B felony, expand the definition of animal fighting to include buying and owning animal fighting paraphernalia, and require the Washington State Patrol (WSP) to establish both a statewide voicemail line to allow the public to anonymously report incidents of animal abuse and a central repository for local law enforcement agencies to report incidents of animal abuse for submission to the National Incident-Based Reporting System.

These are important bills that should have no trouble passing. Thank you for taking the time to ensure that they do.

Sincerely,

Your Name