Washington State Takes Stand Against Animal Cruelty with Tougher Sentences: Freddy the Lab Mix Inspires Change

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Animal cruelty sentencing laws in Washington State could soon become tougher with the introduction of a new bill. House Bill 1961 proposes to include first-degree animal cruelty as a ranked felony offense. The bill aims to provide more consistent consequences for those convicted of animal abuse, like the resilient lab mix named Freddy, who survived a brutal axe attack during a domestic violence dispute.

Freddy, a beloved resident at Pasado’s Safe Haven, delights in playing and fetching Frisbees with the staff. Despite his outward appearance, few would suspect the painful past he endured. At just two months old, he became a victim of a horrific act of cruelty. Thanks to his caretakers’ love and care, Freddy has healed from his traumatic wounds.

The primary goal of House Bill 1961 is to elevate first-degree animal cruelty to a ranked felony offense. This move would ensure that individuals who inflict harm on animals like Freddy face consistent penalties when sentenced. Republican Representative Sam Low, one of the bill’s sponsors, highlights the current disparity in sentencing. For instance, someone who abuses multiple animals can receive the same punishment as someone who abuses just one animal.

Supporters of the bill also emphasize the strong correlation between violence against animals and violence against humans. Freddy’s case, for example, was linked to a domestic violence dispute. Pasado’s Safe Haven has been a haven for other mistreated animals as well, such as Poppy, a pup that is also on the road to recovery.

The bill has already passed the House Community Safety and Justice and Re-entry Committee with unanimous bipartisan support and is now set for the House floor. If enacted, it would bring about more consistent consequences for those convicted of first-degree animal cruelty. Meanwhile, both Freddy and Poppy eagerly await the chance to find their forever homes.

For those interested in adopting Freddy, Poppy, or learning more about Pasado’s Safe Haven, they can visit the organization’s website for more information.