Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Update on HB 1755, the Dog Tethering law.

HB 1755, Concerning the Humane Treatment of Dogs, passed out of committee yesterday. Please note that this does NOT mean the bill has passed the legislative process and will become law. This was just one step in the process, and there is still time to take action.

The first substitute bill passed the judiciary committee by a small majority, but they DID take out the part that would revise the definitions section to change the definitions of food, water and shelter for all animals. So that's good. But we still need to keep an eye on the bill even though it is now only about tethering dogs.

I have so far received emails from three of the committee members that voted against the bill. I am asking them what happens next with it, and what we can do, now that it has passed committee. I'm also offering to publish their statements about why they take the position they do on the bill. If I receive replies from any that voted to pass, I will make the same offer to them so that readers can see both sides of the argument.

You can read the substitute house bill here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/cmd/default.aspx?cid=JUDI

Select the plus sign next to 1/30/2012 1:30 PM, then Executive Session, then 1755, then Amds/Proposed Subs and click on 01-PSHB 1755 with effect(1) (162k)

Proposed Substitute House Bill 1755 (1)
By Representative Goodman


- Removes modification of the definitions of “necessary food” and “necessary shelter.”

- Charging is mandatory rather than discretionary if the owner is found to have restrained a dog under the circumstances described in the act.

- It is a violation to restrain or tie a dog outside during a severe weather advisory (rather than a declared weather advisory) unless the dog is provided with adequate shelter.

- The dog must have a range of movement equal to three times the dog’s length and cannot be restrained in such a way that the dog has to stand, sit, or lie down in its own excrement or urine or that causes pain to the dog.

- Removes the prohibitions against restraining or tying a dog in a manner that does not allow the dog shelter when temperatures are outside of the range of forty to eightyfive [sic] degrees or when there is precipitation, or in a location near a school or daycare.

- Adds a requirement that the restraint cannot weigh more than one-eighth the dog’s body weight.

- Exempts the act of transporting a dog in a vehicle from constituting unlawful tethering.

- A written notice of first violation must describe the nature of the violation.

- Changes the time an owner has to remedy the violation from 48 hours to 14 days.

- Adds a new chapter describing written exemptions granted to individual owners at the discretion of the animal control authority. An exemption can be granted upon unusual circumstances that make the tethering necessary as long as the tethering is for no more than 16 hours in a 24 hour period. An exemption may also be granted if the dog is an arctic breed used as a sled dog. In either circumstance the dog’s health and safety must be attended to. Exemptions may be revoked at the animal control authority’s discretion if the conditions for the exemption no longer exist or a wellfounded [sic] complaint is placed alleging neglect, nuisance, or safety threat.

- Removes the emergency clause.

- Makes several other changes for technical correctness and clarity

To read the actual bill as it appears now, you need to go on the website as described above.

Here, again, is the link to the main legislative website page for HB 1755, Concerning the Humane Treatment of Dogs: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?year=2011&bill=1755

And here is the page for the companion Senate bill, SB 6749, Concerning the Humane Treatment of Dogs: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?year=2011&bill=5649

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sample Letter Regarding the Dog Tethering Laws

Here is what I will be sending to our lawmakers:

Dear (name of lawmaker or committee member)

My name is _______

I am writing to voice my opposition to HB 1755, relating to the humane treatment of dogs.

We do not need more vague or excessively restrictive laws about animal cruelty. With our ever-increasing mandatory penalties for all animal cruelty convictions, no matter how minor or unintentional the offense, extreme caution is warranted in changing the cruelty laws.

We need laws that require the minimum basic care necessary for the health and wellbeing of the animal, and allow the flexibility to adjust husbandry practices to be appropriate for the species and the individual animal. Our laws need to address actual cruelty effectively, but not criminalize activity that is harmless to animals.

I am asking you to OPPOSE HB 1755, Concerning the humane treatment of dogs, because it is too restrictive in some areas and too vague in others, with far too much likelihood of unintended consequences. If this law passes, many owners who are not neglectful or abusive to their animals could be convicted of animal cruelty for actions which do not harm the health or welfare of their animals.

The changes to the definitions section also do not take animals other than cats and dogs into account, such as amphibians which CANNOT be kept dry.

If the bill is going to go through anyway, please ask for the following revisions:

*** Add the phrase "at suitable intervals" or some other clarification that the access to food and water need not be at every moment of every day. This is urgent because in some municipalities, the word "accessible" is being interpreted as requiring food and water to be accessible to all animals at all times.

Providing food and water 27/7 for all animals is neither practical nor possible. Unlimited access to food can cause obesity, fatal bloat, or other health problems for some types of animals. Water cannot be offered at every moment while an animal is working or playing, and watering twice a day is a standard practice in some situations, especially for livestock. Even the USDA allows for both food and water to be offered at suitable intervals rather than having it available constantly.

Accusing someone of cruelty based on lack of appropriate water and food should be determined by physical evidence of dehydration and malnutrition, not solely on the presence or absence of water and food in front of the animal at the moment.

***Strike the section defining necessary shelter.

Alternatively, change the definition to something like: "Necessary shelter" means a structure or natural feature that gives protection from the elements in a manner sufficient for the species and type of animal, and does not cause injury, disfigurement, or physical impairment to the animal.

The section requiring the animal to be able to sit, stand, lie down and turn around should be struck since it would outlaw standard horse stalls and possibly many types of animal transport carriers, and prevent animals from being restrained when necessary for health and safety (for instance, an animal should be kept from moving too much when nursing a spinal injury).

Also, extreme limitation of movement for long periods of time would cause injury, disfigurement, or physical impairment to an animal anyway, so the requirements not to restrict specific types of movement in addition to that are redundant.

One could also add the word "reasonably" to modify the requirement that it keeps animals clean and dry if the committee decides to keep that phrasing, since it is impossible to completely keep any animal from ever getting at all wet or dirty. But since amphibians are included in the definition of animal in Washington state law, requiring that an enclosure keep animals dry would be fatal to an entire class of animals that need to be kept damp in order to be healthy. For these reasons, I strongly recommend striking the "clean and dry" phrase altogether.

*** Regarding the dog tethering rules, they are unreasonably restrictive and would have the basic effect of outlawing tethering altogether while pretending to only set reasonable limits. I would point out that it is impossible to guarantee that a dog can never have a chance of getting tangled even briefly in a tether or any other object, that the restrictions on times of day and ages of dog are unreasonable, and that there are times other than the stated exemptions where a dog can be safely and reasonably tethered or where temporary or brief tethering may be necessary.

People should not be accused of cruelty for briefly tying their dog to the front porch so it can be outside with them while they do yardwork, for instance. And if a parent out for a walk needs both hands to deal with a child for a moment, it should not be a crime to tie the dog to the nearest tree for a couple of minutes.

As the House Bill Summary states, "The AVMA also claims that many other animal cruelty statutes likely would be interpreted to prohibit tethering where it is detrimental to the animal, though the statute may not specifically use the term "tethering."
Washington State already has laws prohibiting cruelty and neglect of animals. Tethering to the extent it was harming the animal or preventing it from reaching necessary food, water and shelter is already illegal. This bill would likely not catch significantly more people who are truly abusing and neglecting their animals, while criminalizing many who are NOT abusing or neglecting their animals.

Any law that has the potential to criminalize many innocent people is one to approach with extreme caution. And it is important to remember that the animal cruelty statutes affect far more species than just cats and dogs. What is appropriate for a cat or dog may not be at all appropriate for a horse, cow, reptile or amphibian.
Please oppose HB 1755, Concerning the Humane Treatment of Dogs. In the event that this law does continue forward, please press for revisions that would make it more reasonable, and would keep the definitions section appropriate for every species of animal it affects.

If interested, you may read more about some of the concerns some have with this law at

Thank you very much,

(name and contact info.)

See comments below for a version under 4,000 characters that will fit in the legislative widget.

Urgent: New Animal Cruelty and Dog Tethering Bill Going to Session Today.

URGENT: This bill has already had a hearing and is scheduled for session TODAY, Jan 30.
This law would change the definitions of food, water, and shelter for all animals and put extreme restrictions on dog tethering.

House Bill 1755, AN ACT Relating to the humane treatment of dogs, scheduled for executive session in the House Committee on Judiciary at 1:30 PM January 30, 2012:

Companion senate bill 5649, AN ACT Relating to the humane treatment of dogs:

At this point, we recommend focusing on contacting the bill's sponsors, and the Jucidiary Committee members.

The bills' sponsors, and links to contact them, are on the above pages. The members of the House Juciciary Committee can be found here: http://www.leg.wa.gov/House/Committees/JUDI/Pages/MembersStaff.aspx

Their telephone numbers are provided, as well as links to email them.

When you contact lawmakers, be sure to mention the name of the bill as well as the number--they consider so many bills that a number is unlikely to stick in their mind. Try to be as concise and specific as possible.

Please be sure to read the bill in full, as the dog tethering portion is all new and is quite extensive. To briefly summarize, it puts such extreme restrictions on tethering (such as disallowing any possibility that the dog might ever become entangled in anything) that there is little likehood of any case (other than a few situations specifically exempted) in which it would actually *allow* tethering. It does specifically say that pulley and trolley systems are considered tethering.

It appears that this bill could even outlaw such activities as tying your dog to an object briefly while you use the restroom when out for a walk, as well as tying or chaining a dog to prevent its escape from a yard or enclosure.

The changes regarding food, water and shelter apply to all animals--not just dogs. Interestingly enough, in the bill digest and in the summary of the testimony for and against the bill at the January 10 hearing, the changes to these definitions are not mentioned at all.

Among other things, this bill would remove the phrases "at sufficient intervals" and "sufficient to provide a reasonable level of nutrition" from the definitions of adequate food, in conjunction with saying it must be "accessible." In counties with similar phrasing, this is being interpreted by law enforcement to mean that all animals must have food in front of them 24/7.

The words with a strike through them are being taken out, and the underlined words added

(h) "Necessary food and water" means ((the provision at suitable
21 intervals of wholesome foodstuff suitable for the animal's age and
22 species and sufficient to provide a reasonable level of nutrition for
23 the animal)) food or feed appropriate to the species for which it is
24 intended. Both food and water must be in sufficient quantity and
25 quality to sustain the animal and must be easily accessible to the
26 animal.
This is of concern because for many species of animals it is actually harmful to keep food accessible to them at all times. Even for species that benefit from or will not be harmed by having food available all day long, there are times such as walking, grooming, brief transport, etc. that the animal will not have food accessible to it in the course of routine daily activities. Reptiles are included in this law, and many snakes need to eat only once every few days.

The same goes for water. Even if you generally keep water available to animals, in many situations it is impossible to give access to water every moment of every day. Just picture trying to take your dog for a walk or your horse for a ride while keeping both food and water accessible to it every moment, and you'll start to understand the impracticality of such a law if interpreted to its logical extreme.

Also, many horse and livestock owners take their animals out to pasture during the day and only water the animals twice a day. Some species of animals rarely or never drink water, as they obtain all they need from their food or can store it in their bodies.

WSAW feels that appropriate levels and frequencies of food and water should be determined by the needs of the individual species and the health of the animal. Owners and their veterinarians need to have freedom to adjust feeding amounts and frequencies to the needs of the individual animals, rather than every animal having constant access to food and water dictated by state law.

We would like to ask that the phrase "at suitable intervals" or something similar, clarifying that this access need not be constant, be added back into the law.

The USDA has much more reasonable requirements for frequency of feeding and watering in their animal husbandry standards:

§ 3.129 Feeding.
. . . Animals shall be fed at least once a day except as dictated by hibernation, veterinary treatment, normal fasts, or other professionally accepted practices. . . .

§ 3.130 Watering.
If potable water is not accessible to the animals at all times, it must be provided as often as necessary for the health and comfort of the animal. Frequency of watering shall consider age, species, condition, size, and type of the animal. . .

The proposed new Washington State law also adds the following definition of necessary shelter:

27 (i) "Necessary shelter" means a structure that keeps the animal
28 clean, dry, and protected from the elements, allows the animal to turn
29 around freely, sit, stand, and lie without restriction, and does not
30 cause injury, disfigurement, or physical impairment to the animal.
While on the surface this sounds like a good thing, again this gives no exemption or wiggle room for standard practices or common everyday occurrences.

If interpreted strictly to the letter of the law, it could mean that if your cat gets its paws dirty while using the litterbox; your puppy poops on the floor, tips its water dish over, and rolls in the whole thing; or you want to give your pet duck a wading pool; you may be committing animal cruelty--no matter how quickly you clean it up, because the animal was not KEPT clean and dry at all times. A horse that defecates on the floor and then steps in it, or decides to roll in it, is not going to stay clean at all times even if the stall is cleaned daily.

Keeping any animal clean and dry at all times is an unattainable standard. Adding some qualifier such as "reasonably" to this section might go a log way toward helping make the standards more attainable. Or, better yet, just state that the shelter must be appropriate to the species of animal.

For some types of livestock, particularly in mild climates, a wind break or coat might be sufficient. For other animals, more protection is needed. Some types of animals may need shelters or roosts raised off the ground, while others do not. Some animals are much more tolerant of cold than others. Remember, reptiles and amphibians are defined in the WA cruelty statutes as animals. If you keep an amphibian dry, you kill it! Again, there is no one-size-fits-all standard.

Several states, including Michigan, state that "natural features such as trees or topography" can be adequate shelter for some species, or even that a windbreak alone is sufficient for some livestock. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture's website states, in their factsheet on horses,

"In areas with low annual rainfall, a windbreak may be all that is needed for outdoor housing. Windbreaks are essential for all animals housed outdoors to slow the wind speed and, therefore, the wind chill. Many different objects can be used as windbreaks: large bales stacked two or three high and stored adjacent to a paddock, solid board fences, cedar hedging, a bush lot or snow fences of at least six feet in height. In some areas, material such as shade cloth, as used in the ginseng industry, is attached to tall fence posts to act as a windbreak."

Please note that the requirements regarding freedom of movement would potentially outlaw typical straight or tie stalls for horses, even though horses do fine backing out of a stall and rarely lie down. As long as a horse has access to pasture or regular exercise, a standard stall is fine.

Also, the freedom of movement requirements might potentially cause a problem with transport crates for animals, since in order to keep the animal safe during transport they must for some species be small enough to restrict movement--much like a child's car seat or a seatbelt.

Animals recovering from something like a spinal injury may need to be kept still as much as possible, requiring restraint.

We would suggest asking legislators to consider putting a specific exemption in for animals that need to be transported or confined for health or safety reasons, if they choose to leave this part of the bill intact.

As for "protected from the elements" we weren't sure exactly how that would be defined legally, so we ran some searches for the phrase as relating to animal cruelty.

How throughly does it have to keep out the elements? Does an enclosure which has part of the area protected from the elements, but the animal has freedom to go out into the elements when it wants to (and get wet and dirty) qualify? Is a dog house or chicken coop good enough, or not?

Without this phrase being specifically defined, animal owners may be at the mercy of the personal opinion of whatever law enforcement officer they happen to get.

Apparently, it depends on who is interpreting it. In many areas, the typical 3-sided loafing shed is fine for some types of animals. In others, heavy tree cover or a wind break is all that's required for some types of livestock. Some municipalities require structures with 4 walls and closable/lockable doors, or weather barriers covering the doorways of shelters. Others require raised floors. Still others require insulated housing with climate control. At least one, the town of Taos, interprets this phrase as requiring that animals be brought indoors during cold weather. Not all requirements are equally necessary and practical for all types of animals.

Adding a phrase clarifying that the protection of the elements need only be sufficent for the type of animal might help keep law enforcement from going overboard in requiring things like completely insulated, climate-controlled enclosed barns for animals for which this would be overkill.

We do not need more vague or excessively restrictive laws. We need laws that require the minimum basic care necessary for the health and wellbeing of the animal, and allow the flexibility to adjust husbandry practices to be appropriate for the species and the individual animal.

A sample letter can be found at

Please feel free to leave a comment with any other thoughts or suggestions.

Friday, January 20, 2012

New WA State Rabies Vaccine Rule

As of January 1, 2012, all dogs, cats and ferrets are required by Washington State to have current rabies vaccines.

Most municipalities already required documentation of rabies vaccines in order to license dogs and cats, and dogs/cats/ferrets were required to have rabies vaccines to enter the state. However, the rule in the Washington Administrative Code is new.

Washington State Department of Health's page on Rabies Vaccine Requirements can be found here.

The rule reads, in part:

"WAC 246-100-197 (3) An owner of a dog, cat, or ferret shall have it vaccinated against rabies and revaccinated following veterinary and vaccine manufacturer instructions. This requirement does not apply to animal shelters."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Veterinarian's Perspective on Health Certificate Laws

 (Posted with permission from Dr. Hreiz)

Dear ________,

Eric forwarded me your e-mail regarding concern over the requirement of a health certificate for rabbits crossing into the state.  As a veterinarian that routinely writes health certificates, I thought I would share my perspective with you over this requirement.

Believe it or not, this law is in place in almost every single US state requiring all companion animals and a myriad of exotic species to have a health certificate when crossing state lines.  Is this law strictly enforced?  Not at all.  I live in North Carolina and work right over the border in South Carolina.  There are many mornings I bring my retired racing Greyhound to the clinic for the day.  Do I prepare a health certificate for this 25 minute journey?  Absolutely not.  So from a legal standpoint I've broken this law at least 25 times.  The average rabbit breeder breaks this law every single weekend when driving to a show in another [state].  The typical family traveling home for Thanksgiving breaks this law multiple times as they cross over into each state on the way.  Simply put, there is virtually no way to enforce this law the way it is written.  The law is broken probably a million times per day.  

These laws are in place primarily for shipment of animals via air.  I routinely write health certificates for stray dogs in South Carolina that are being shipped via air to the northeast and placed into adoption homes.  So while I think the law looks alarming upon first inspection, it is important to realize the the enforcement of this law is not done.  Most US states do not have an inspection station when you're crossing state lines.  The only caveat to this would be a toll booth I guess - but even there a toll worker is clearly not interested if your beloved dog is in the back seat with the kids.

I hope this helps!


Jay Hreiz
Chair, ARBA Rabbit & Cavy Health Committee

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mandatory Spay/Neuter Ordinance in Quincy, WA

If you live in Quincy, WA you should be aware that the city council recently passed an ordinance requiring all dogs over a year old to be spayed or neutered unless they are registered with the AKC as a purebred.

The council also increased fines for dog-related offenses.

The Columbia Basin Herald reports, "The changes passed unanimously without any discussion from the councilmembers."

Dog owners have until April 1 to get their dog altered or provide an AKC certificate showing registration for each dog.

It's important to note that this change took place with apparently no notice or fanfare, in a city council meeting without having to go through the legislative process. It's a good example of why it is important that concerned citizens get on local councils and task forces, and attend meetings.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Updated: WA Health Certificates for Rabbits and Other Animals

Apparently the Show Rabbit Protection society is researching entry requirements for rabbits in various states. Here is their report on WA.

An excerpt:
There is at this time, no exemption in place for rabbits traveling into Washington that has been obtained by any agency or group including the ARBA.

We spoke with the staff in Dr. Paul Kohr's office, the Wa. Assistant State Veterinarian concerning traveling into Washington with show or sale rabbits.

At this time, all rabbits entering Washington regardless of quantity are required to have a veterinary health certificate from their out of state veterinarian before entering Washington for show or sale stating the rabbit is healthy and free of communicable disease and meets all of Washington's health standards.

I would recommend that you read the entire post.

The way WA law is written, technically any animal down to the level of an earthworm is required to have a health certificate, unless it is specifically exempted.

WAC 16-54-030 "(1)(a) A certificate of veterinary inspection must accompany all animals entering Washington state, except where specifically exempted in this chapter. Certificates of veterinary inspection expire thirty days from the date of issuance."

RCW 16.36.005(1) "Animal" means all members of the animal kingdom except humans, fish, and insects. However, "animal" does not mean noncaptive wildlife as defined in RCW 77.08.010, except as used in RCW 16.36.050(1) and 16.36.080 (1), (2), (3), and (5).

The exemptions can be found in the WAC section on animal importation.

It is important to be informed.

Addendum to post January 7, 2012:

It has come to our attention that some were misinterpreting our previous post as saying that people are not required to have health certificates for small animals coming from one town to another across state lines. So we have revised that paragraph to be more clear, as follows:

"Of course they aren't sending out staff to stop every car and see if you are smuggling a mouse across state lines, and RCW 16:36:045 indicates that inspections are "with emphasis on livestock being brought in from outside the state." But they *do* legally have the right to stop your vehicle and check for animals that have inappropriately entered the state. The fines and consequences if you do get stopped and they verify that you have brought non-exempted animals into the state without a health certificate are outlined in the law. The animal can be quarantined and tested at your expense, can be euthanized under certain conditions, and you can be subject to fines or other penalties."

Note that each individual animal is apparently considered a separate violation even if they are all traveling together. Each day it occurs is also considered a separate violation.

The bottom line is, the law clearly states that *all* animals not otherwise exempted need to have a health certificate when entering Washington. Communications from the state department have verified that this does include brief visits for shows.

According to the SRPS research, you are not required to have a health certificate when re-entering Washington with an animal that originated in Washington and is returning to the state within 30 days of when it left. Health certificates are only required for animals from out of state, not for animals being transported in Washington that originated in Washington.

Here are some of the relevant laws. Please click through each link to read the rest of the law--we are only posting excerpts on the blog for most of them.

RCW 16.36.050

(1) It is unlawful for a person to bring an animal into Washington state without first securing a certificate of veterinary inspection, reviewed by the state veterinarian of the state of origin, verifying that the animal meets the Washington state animal health requirements. This subsection does not apply to:

(a) Those animals that qualify for an exemption in RCW 16.36.140; or

(b) Other animals exempted by the director by rule.

RCW 16.36.110: Violations, gross misdemeanor

(1) Any person who violates any provision of this chapter or the rules adopted under this chapter shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor. Each day upon which a violation occurs constitutes a separate violation.

RCW 16.36.113
Violations of chapter or rules — Civil penalty — Moneys collected — Time and mileage fee.

(1) Any person in violation of this chapter or its rules may be subject to a civil penalty in an amount of not more than one thousand dollars for each violation. Each violation is a separate and distinct offense. Every person who, through an act of commission or omission, procures, aids, or abets in the violation is in violation of this chapter or its rules and may be subject to the civil penalty provided in this section. Moneys collected under this section must be deposited in the state general fund.

(2) The department may charge a time and mileage fee for the cost of an investigation including inspecting animals and related records during an investigation of a proven violation of this chapter. The fee may be up to eighty-five dollars per hour and the current mileage rate set by the office of financial management. The director may increase the hourly fee by rule as necessary to cover costs of investigations. All fees collected pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited in an account in the agricultural local fund and used to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

[2011 c 204 § 11; 2007 c 71 § 4.]

The law on checkpoints and stopping vehicles for inspection:

RCW 16.36.045
Transporting of animals — Requirements — Vehicle inspection — Authorization by director or appointed officers.

The director may establish points of inspection for vehicles transporting animals on the public roads of this state to determine if the animals being transported are accompanied by valid health certificates, permits, or other documents as required by this chapter or its rules. Vehicles transporting animals on the public roads of this state are subject to inspection and must stop at any posted inspection point established by the director, with emphasis on livestock being brought in from outside the state. The director or appointed officers are authorized to stop a vehicle transporting animals upon the public roads of this state at a place other than an inspection point if there is reasonable cause to believe the animals are being transported in violation of this chapter or its rules.

[2007 c 71 § 1.]

This law addresses animals being transported without required documentation even within the state (i.e. not just while crossing the border). Our understanding is that this only applies to animals that were required to have a health certificate (CVI) in the first place (i.e. animals from outside WA). It does not apply to transporting an animal *from* Washington within the state, since a CVI is not required for them.

RCW 16.36.116 states,

"(1) Any person found transporting animals on the public roads of this state that are not accompanied by valid health certificates, permits, or other documents as required by this chapter or its rules has committed a class 1 civil infraction."

There is a fee schedule for fines here: WAC 16-92-020: Penalty schedule for notices of infraction. It's currently $100 per violation for the first offense.

The law also gives them the right to search your home or other property if they have reason to believe you have animals that were brought in illegally:

RCW 16.36.060
Tests, examinations, inspections, samples, examine and copy records — Entry onto property — Unlawful conduct — Seizure of property — Search warrant.

(1) The director has the authority to enter a property at any reasonable time to:

(b) Determine, when there is reasonable cause to investigate, whether animals on the property have been imported into Washington state in violation of requirements of this chapter, and to conduct tests, examinations, and inspections, take samples, and examine and copy records during such investigations.

(3) If the director is denied access to a property or animals for purposes of this chapter, or a person fails to comply with an order of the director, the director may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for a search warrant. To show that access is denied, the director shall file with the court an affidavit or declaration containing a description of all attempts to notify and locate the owner or owner's agent and secure consent. The court may issue a search warrant authorizing access to any animal or property at reasonable times to conduct investigations, tests, inspections, or examinations of any animal or property, or to take samples, and examine and copy records, and may authorize seizure or destruction of property.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Olalla Animal Confiscation

The Bailey family in Olalla, WA has their first hearing on January 3rd, 2011 at 8:30 PM in Port Orchard, WA. This will include the arraignment on the criminal charges (2nd degree cruelty) and a hearing on the Bailey's petition for the return of their animals.

You can find more information about the case and the hearing at the Justice for Pacific Northwest Farmers website: http://justice4pnw.weebly.com

The site also has information giving details about how people can help.

It's possible that this case could influence whether the new definitions of sufficent food and water in WA state law will be interpreted as requiring unlimited access to both food and water at all times. There are also concerns about violation of due process in this case.