Veterinary Services at humane societies bill signed into law
Governor Jay Inslee signed into law today Senate Bill (SB) 5004, legislation that grants humane societies and animal control agencies the ability to provide full veterinary services to low-income pet owners. Passage of the bill followed a year-long process of meetings between WSVMA and bill proponents from Southwest Humane Society in Vancouver and the Washington Federation of Animal Care and Control Agencies. WSVMA supported the legislation.
In addition to granting shelter organizations the ability to provide full veterinary services, the legislation allows newly adopted pets to be brought back to their humane society for treatment for illness for up to 30 days post-adoption. It also allows emergency care to be provided to any animal where there is an unexpected, serious occurrence or situation that urgently requires prompt action in order to prevent an animal’s death or permanent injury.
Means testing to confirm pet owners’ low-income status will be required by participating organizations. The Veterinary Board of Governors will soon start the rulemaking process to establish reporting requirements that demonstrate animal care and control facilities and nonprofit humane societies are serving only low-income households.
For a complete list of frequently asked questions for veterinarians about SB 5004, please visit the WSVMA website.