Tethering legislation heads to Governor for signature
Senate Bill 5356 creating humane standards to address the tethering and chaining of dogs passed the House last week after passing the Senate unanimously. The bill is now sent to Governor Jay Inslee for signature. The bill requires that dogs must be able to move comfortably, have access to water and clean, safe shelter. It prohibits tethering a dog that is ill, injured, in distress, in late stage pregnancy or under the age of six months. It also prohibits the use of choke or prong-type collars, and being in any conditions that cause injury or pain.
There are exemptions to the bill such as when a dog is tethered while receiving medical care, being groomed, or while participating in exhibitions, shows or contests. The bill sets up penalties for inhumane tethering and animal control officers can issue warnings or citations.
SSB 5356 was sponsored by Senator Joe Fain and had the support of most animal welfare organizations in the state. The WSVMA was asked to provide input that, in the end, made the language less vague and easier to interpret for the safety of the animal and for the animal control officer who may be faced with a tethered dog.
To see the Senate vote on the bill and to hear recognition of WSVMA’s efforts, watch this video provided by TV-W.