Little Pasado, which Pasado's Safe Haven was named for, with his mother
Pasado’s Safe Haven works diligently to create greater legal protection for the animals and to increase the penalty for those who abuse and neglect them. The Humane Society of the United States Humane Lobby Day, which will be held on February 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., looks to the future for supporting and passing further protection for the animals.
Humane Lobby Day is an event that is sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States where citizen animal advocates can gather to learn and practice lobbying for animal protection laws at the state level. This is a full-day event that includes a lobbying workshop and an overview of relevant bills in your state legislature. Appointments are made for you with your state legislators so that you can meet with them (or their staff) face-to-face and ask for animal-friendly votes. You can click on your state to RSVP.
The HSUS recently released its 2011 “Humane State Ranking,” a comprehensive report rating all 50 states and Washington, DC on a wide range of animal protection laws on issues ranging from animal fighting to farm animals to wildlife to companion animals. Washington State has a score of 38/66 and is tied with four other states for sixth-place ranking nationwide. This rank and score is a decrease from 2010, but with events like the HSUS Lobby Day, we hope to make 2012 a banner year for the animals.
During the HSUS Lobby Day, every attempt will be made to schedule a meeting with the legislators that represent you at the state capitol. In the event that your legislator cannot meet with you personally, you will get a chance to talk with one of his or her key staffers. Your meeting will generally only last a few minutes and you’ll be given specific talking points and training on what to cover during the meeting.
Many animal bills are filed each year during the legislative session. The HSUS chooses priority bills for Humane Lobby Day based upon several factors, including their impact and chance of passage. Focusing on the bills that the HSUS has chosen will make the most impact during your visit to the Capitol.
Please continue to speak up with Pasado's Safe Haven for stronger laws for the animals.
Working on landmark legislation is one of the cornerstones of Pasado’s Safe Haven’s foundation. Pasado’s has played an integral role in getting numerous bills passed. In 1994, Pasado’s helped pass “The Pasado Law.” This was the first law which we took a major part in getting written, heard, and passed. The Pasado Law was first presented in 1992 and didn’t pass, but we persevered and it finally passed in 1994. This law made Animal Cruelty in the First Degree a FELONY in Washington State.
In 2004, Pasado’s helped pass the Non-Ambulatory Livestock Law, which made it illegal to drag or lift by tractor any animal too sick or weak to walk. In 2006, we helped pass the Bestiality Law, which made bestiality a ranked Class C Felony in Washington State under Anti Cruelty statues.
The ranking of a felony is important.
1) Only “ranked” felonies are subject to the sentencing guidelines.
2) While all First Degree animal cruelty offenses are felonies, only bestiality is “ranked” because it is considered to be a sex crime and is subject to the same sentencing guidelines as other sex crimes.
3) According to the sentencing guidelines, the penalty for a ranked First Degree animal cruelty offense is up to 5 years prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. If you are a first-time offender, however, you could receive as little as a few months in jail.
4) All other “unranked” felonies have a “blanket” penalty of up to 1 year of jail time and a maximum of $5,000, including First Degree Animal Cruelty 1 and 2. Although not technically subject to the sentencing guidelines, most judges will use these guidelines.
In 2007, Pasado’s helped increase the penalty for animal abandonment to Second Degree Animal Cruelty. In 2011, this bill expanded upon the definition of “similar” animals to the Genus level and changed Animal Cruelty in the Second Degree from a misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor.
Please join Pasado’s Safe Haven on February 21 for Humane Lobby Day. Together, we can be a voice for the animals, working to provide greater legal protection and stronger penalties for those who abuse animals.
Thank you – from all of the animals at Pasado’s sanctuary and from those who are still waiting to find their safe haven.