Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed a bill that closes a loophole in existing animal cruelty laws.
Under existing law, anyone convicted of felony animal cruelty or repeated animal cruelty violations can still own a “similar” pet. Someone accused of abusing a cat could own a dog and vice versa.
The new law states that anyone convicted of abusing an animal will be prohibited from owning, caring for or living with any similar animals
- For two years for a first conviction of animal cruelty in the second degree or
- Permanently or a first conviction in the first degree or
- Permanently for a second or subsequent conviction of animal cruelty.
The law also increases penalties for those who violate the prohibition to own or care for an animal.