A bill pending in the Washington state legislature, HB 2117, would prohibit municipalities from considering the breed of a dog when declaring a dog dangerous or potentially dangerous. If passed, it would preempt local authorities from adopting breed-specific ordinances.
HB 2117 is currently in the House Judiciary Committee, and a public hearing was held on January 16, 2014. The bill is now scheduled for executive session in the House Judiciary Committee on February 5, 2014 at 3:30 pm. During executive sessions, the committee members decide how they will report the bill to the whole House, so this is an important step.
Its extremely important to note that Representative Appleton is concerned she does not have enough votes to get the bill out of committee, so it is imperative to reach out to the Judiciary Committee members NOW and encourage them to pass this bill!
WASHINGTON RESIDENTS: Please reach out to the members of the House Judiciary Committee, and ask them to support HB 2117. Let them know that laws that target dogs based on their appearance rather than their behavior creates communities that are more vulnerable to dangerous dogs, not less. The passage of HB 2117 would mean cities and counties, in drafting animal control ordinances, would have to tackle the root cause of dangerous dogs, irresponsible and reckless dog owners, rather than pass a blanket law that regulates all members of specific breeds.
Please remember to keep all communications with legislators polite and respectful. The manner in which we communicate with decision- makers can and does make a difference.
Members of the House Judiciary Committee:
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You can follow HB 2117 and keep track of its status here.
Washington residents can find their respective House Representatives here.