The 2011 Legislative Session is now over. We will archive this information in the next few months as we have done with past sessions for your information and referral. Two bills passed out of 25 animal bills introduced.
SB 349 is the bill that adds a bittering agent to anti freeze.
HB 3143 increases the penalties for killing or injuring a law enforcement animal.
Here are the updates of the daily activity at the state legislature pertaining to animal welfare. Sylvia Shafer, a board member of FOHO WVLA and the chief lobbyist and board member of the Kanawha/Charleston Humane Association is our primary source for this information. She spends a lot of time at the capital and will be keeping us informed about bill activity throughout the session. Use the Legislature/Search button to the left to find bills or your legislators to email. Go to House or Senate and then enter your zipcode to right of that screen to find your legislator. You can email them that screen. Please help us to be the voice for the animals of West Virginia. You will occasionally see a FOHO note which is our opinion on a point or bill in addition to Sylvia's comments.
HB 3143 increases the penalties for killing or injuring a law enforcement animal and has passed the legislature. This bill and SB 349 await the governor's signature. These are my final comments for this session. Thanks to all of you who made calls and sent emails. If the animals could, I am sure they would also say thank you. Sylvia
FOHO note* It has been a disappointing session for the animals of West Virginia. We will regroup and prepare for next year’s session. Our cause is right and our numbers continue to grow. Animal advocates throughout the state will continue to urge their lawmakers to support protective animal legislation. Whether it is spay neuter funding or stopping the horror of a puppy mill, we will continue to be the voice for those who have none. Thanks to all of you who made phone calls, emails and drove to Charleston to lobby in person. A special thanks to Sylvia Shafer for her effort in lobbying and keeping us informed. And thanks also to Summer Wyatt, WV Humane Society of US Director. Let's continue to lobby for animals all throughout the year.
HB 2883 - The puppy mill bill died today. There is nothing more that we can do. This is the third year that it did not make it. The reason that it died is simple. The breeders and their friends out called us. The legislators were swamped with calls from breeders and as I have said before, they count numbers. Sylvia
The puppy mill bill died in the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee. The members of that sub-committee were Sen. Foster (D- Kanawha), Sen. Tucker (D- Ritchie), and Sen. Facemyer (R-Jackson). The reasoning is that they want to continue to study the bill. Whether we find out exactly why this bill died, it is clear that again our voice for the animals was not loud enough. We want to thank those in the House who sponsored this bill, Delegates Mahan, Guthrie, Fragale and Manypenny and all of those in the house who passed this bill. Remember, this bill died in the Senate so express your concern to your Senator.
SB 349 is the bill that adds a bittering agent to anti freeze and it has passed the Legislature. This bill is now on its way to the Governor for his signature. Thanks for all of your help. Sylvia
FOHO alert* HB 2883 Puppy Mill Bill needs help immediately!
Phone calls/emails must be made to Sen. Palumbo, chair of Sen. Judiciary committee. Please ask him to put the puppy mill/commercial breeders bill (HB 2883) on the agenda.
The AKC is fighting this bill so let’s make sure our voices are heard above theirs in support of this legislation! Call your Senator to ensure he/she puts pressure on Sen. Palumbo to get this bill out of committee and passed this session. This has to be done asap.
SB 349 the bill that adds a bittering agent to anti freeze will have its first reading on Monday 3-7. Please contact your delegates to support this bill. www.legis.state.wv.us
SB 303 is now in House Judiciary. This is the bill that protects cervids (deer farms) from dogs. The codes that are used in this bill are in the animal control codes and the monies to repay for the deer would come out of the Dog Kennel Fund which supports rabies clinics and animal shelters. It also gives the deer farmers the right to kill the dog. I do not support this bill. Please contact Tim Miley and ask him not to place this bill on his agenda.
FOHO note* on SB 303. We continue to see the irony and frustration in the fact that the WV Dept. of Ag is not willing to accept the responsibility that they now have with canines in WV, yet are so willing to take on Deer Farms. They even sent a letter to all county commissions last summer restating that they work only with dogs that are diseased and in NO other capacity. Why then are dogs under their oversight? Their archaic approach to animal issues in West Virginia will leave us playing ‘catch up’ for years into the future. The Dept. of Ag. is unwilling to assist with any spay neuter options with our pet overpopulation problem even when we have found a perfect solution with the pet food fee.
SB 540 is the Equine Protection Act and is now in the House Judiciary Committee. Please email Tim Miley and ask him to place this bill on his agenda.
. Then go to www.legis.state.wv.us, enter your zipcode and ask each of your delegates to support this bill.
Starting tomorrow, 3-3, the House will only work on passed Senate bills and the Senate will only work on passed House bills. This means that many of the bills are now dead. There are too many to list. Following is a list of the bills that are still alive.
SB 303 protecting cervids from dogs
SB 349 adding a bittering agent to anti freeze
SB 351 transferring cervids from DNR to AG (Deer farms)
SB 540 Equine Protection Act
HB 2883 puppy mill bill
HB 3143 increasing the penalties for injury of death of a law enforcement animal
SB 540 which is the Equine Protection Act is up for passage on 3-2 When this bill passes and is assigned a committee in the House, I will email with instructions. This is a very important bill.
SB 334 making wagering on animal fighting a misdemeanor is dead in the House. Butcher, chair of House Agricultural Committee, is not putting this bill on his agenda. There is nothing that you can do. Sylvia
FOHO note* We really need to get HB 2883 (Puppy Mill Bill) passed in the Senate. Make sure to contact Chairman Palumbo and members of the Judiciary Committee who are your Senators to get this bill on the committee agenda. Also SB 349 needs to move. Please follow the instructions and make your contact calls and emails today! You can contact your legislators without leaving this site by pulling up the WV Legislative site from the left menu. Be a voice for these animals in WV!
SB 540 - This bill has been amended and now applies only to Equine Rescue Facilities. It is now a very good bill and has moved to the floor of the Senate. It will be on first reading 2-25. Contact your senators to vote for this bill. Please read the sub com version of the bill. This bill was drafted due to the horse problems this state has had with equine rescue.
SB 303- This is the bill that protects captive deer from dogs. This bill also provides that a dog can be killed if attacking a captive deer. The monies to pay for the deer could come from the Kennel Fund. All animal control officers would be required to enforce it. This bill has been passed by the Senate and is now in the House and waiting to be heard in the House Judiciary Committee. If you do not support this bill, please contact Delegate Miley and ask him not to place the bill on his agenda.
. Please read the revised sub bill by going to the legislative site. Sylvia
FOHO note* You should oppose SB 303. It could raid local kennel funds and much needed animal shelter and control of already distressed funding. Go to legislative site from the left menu.
HB 2883 - This is the puppy mill (kennel) bill and it passed out of the House Judiciary today. This bill has several amendments of which you will not be able to see until the sub version is on the website. This is still a good bill. It is going to have a rough time on the House floor and needs your emails and calls. Ask your delegate to please pass the puppy mill bill HB 2883. This needs to be done ASAP. Thanks, Sylvia
FOHO note* HB 2883 is the Commercial Breeding Bill or otherwise known as the Puppy Mill Bill. There is no reason that these breeders should not be regulated. We must not let WV become a puppy mill capitol as neighboring states strengthen their regulations and we welcome unscrupulous breeders in to do business. Please read the article on this page entitled “Animal Advocates of WV support Commercial Dog Breeding Bill’ for reasons to vote FOR this bill. See above to find your delegates/legislators to email. Please do so immediately.
SB 334 passed the senate today. This is the bill that makes wagering on animal fighting a crime. Sadly, it would not be a felony but a misdemeanor. It is still a good bill. I will tell you when to start emailing the House asking them to pass this bill. Thanks, Sylvia
Today is the last day that new bills can be introduced although if they originate in a committee they can still be introduced.
Feb. 27 is the last day for bills to be heard in committee of the body where the bill originated.
March 2 is the last day for third reading in house of origin. What this means is that all House bills need to be passed by the House by 3-2 and all senate bills need to be passed by the senate
Starting 3-3 the senate will work on passed house bills and the house will work on passed senate bills.
3-12 at midnight is the end of the session. Sylvia.
SB 540 was introduced today. This bill is creating Equine Early Intervention and Protection Act. This is a very good bill but it is not on the state web at this time. This bill will allow officers to inspect twice a year property of horse sanctuaries. As many of you know there have been several problems in this state concerning rescued horses. Please read the bill (hopefully tomorrow) and then contact Corey Palumbo, Chair of Senate Judiciary, and ask him to place this bill on his agenda. 304-357-7880 or
Good news. SB 334 is moving and will have its first reading tomorrow. This bill makes all wagering on any animal fighting venture a felony. Please contact the senators from your district and ask them to support this bill. Thanks, Sylvia
SB 303 passed the senate today and now moves to the House. I oppose this bill that protects cervids from dogs. This will be a function of animal control who already have a busy job. This will cost counties money when the deer are injured or killed as the payment will come from the Kennel Fund which helps support animal shelter. How can we prove they were not injured or killed by a coyote? This also allows the management of the deer farms to shoot your dog. When it is time to oppose the bill in the House, I will let you know. It will probably be the first of March.
HB 3143 was introduced today. This bill increases the penalties for injuring or killing an animal used by law enforcement. This bill goes to Judiciary and then Finance. Sylvia
FOHO note* Here is another bill to provide spay neuter funding.
HB 2966 would implement a $3 fee on rabies vaccinations to help finance spay neuter programs in West Virginia. Moneys collected from the $3 fee will be deposited in the newly created Spay Neuter Assistance Fund, and will be distributed to the Spay Neuter Assistance Program of West Virginia, which is a program currently providing spay neuter assistance in the state. It is in the Agriculture Committed then it would go to Finance.
Sponsors of the bill are Delegates Manypenny, Boggs, Caputo, Fragale, Morgan and White - If any of these are your delegates, thank them for caring enough to find money for spay neuter assistance.
The argument from some veterinarians is the issue of added paperwork. Yet, they are the direct beneficiaries of the additional revenue. Those spay neuter dollars come back to them while West Virginia addresses its pet overpopulation. Why can’t we be creative enough to come together to make this work?
FOHO note* How ironic that the WV Dept. of Agriculture wants NOTHING to do with spay neuter assistance funding to help reduce unwanted dogs and cats throughout the state; but now with SB 351 and SB 303 they will take on the cervids (deer) from the Deer Farms around the state. WV Dept. of Ag. does not seem to have enough resources to help with the dog population that now falls within their oversight so how can they possibly take on the cervids?
The WV Dept. of Agriculture, rather than the Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) would be the overseer of Deer Farms in WV if SB 351 passes. And with SB 303, another Deer Farm bill, deer would be treated as livestock under the law and restitution could come from the County Commission local dog and kennel fund. There is little enough of those funds already in localities around the state. Plus, it would now involve local animal control resources rather than the DNR. You should oppose these bills. They can gut already distressed dog and kennel funds.
By the way, other states have Agricultural Departments effectively handling spay neuter assistance funds. There are three spay neuter assistance funding bills that would provide money from pet food registration in the state before the state legislature. HB 2398 & HB 2504 same bill with different sponsors. SB 313 which is the Senate version of the same bill. Ask your legislators to get one of these passed! An explanation of the need for these bills is on this site under article 'Spay Neuter Bills Introduced Again in 2011."
HB 3095 was introduced today. This bill states that each county commission establish a livestock committee to aid livestock in dire conditions. I do support or not support this bill as I do not know if this would or would not work. Please make your own decisions. This bill first goes to Agriculture and then Judiciary.
HB 3098 would provide funding for WV racing greyhounds for adoption and spay/neuter. I do not have a recommendation. This bill goes to Agriculture and then Finance.
SB 303 passed out of Senate Judiciary Committee and will have its first reading on 2-11. Amendment stage will be 2-14 and passage of the bill would be 2-15. This bill is adding captive cervids (deer) to the list of animals protected from dogs. If you oppose or support this bill, please contact the senators from your district. This bill affects the animal control people, gives the property owner the right to kill the dog worrying the captive deer. (This would be a deer farm) Animal Control Codes 19-20-14,15,16,17, &18.
HB 3080 is a bad bill. DANGEROUS DOG ACT. Please read this bill. This bill discriminates against Pit Bulls. This bill has good sections, but also has bad ones.
FOHO note* We support good legislation on ‘dangerous dogs’ but not this type of legislation that discriminates against a specific breed. On our www.fohowv.org website, our position on breed specific legislation is clear; we are opposed to it. Please follow Sylvia’s instructions above on opposing this bill.
House Agriculture committee agenda does not show any animal bills to be heard on 2-2. Sylvia
January 28 addendum from Sylvia:
HB 2917 Purchase and sale of dogs is a good idea but there is not any penalty or enforcement. Dogs cannot be sold until they are 8 weeks of age. This bill goes to Agriculture and then Judiciary
HB 2924 is creating the Dutch Law for fallen canines and is the same as SB 302
Have a nice weekend. Sylvia
HB 2883 is the revised bill to regulate commercial dog breeders. This is the approved bill by HSUS and we need your help to make it become a law. Please contact Delegate Miley (Judiciary Chairman) and ask him to place this bill on his Judiciary Committee agenda. Contact Miley 304 340-3252 or send an email to
. Please also contact all members of the Judiciary Committee and ask them to pass this bill out of committee. You can find all of the names by clicking on House, then committees, then Judiciary. Thanks, Sylvia
FOHO note* HB 2883 is the commercial dog breeder bill that we need to support. In order to curb the growth of larger puppy mills in WV we need to pass this bill. Please contact Delegate Miley and other members of the Judiciary Committee from your area to ask that this be put on the Judiciary Committee agenda and passed out of committee. Thanks to sponsors, Mahan, Guthrie, Fragale and Manypenny. If any of these delegates represent you, please thank them. Read the article from Animal Advocates on why support HB 2883.
HB 2883 is another bill creating regulation for commercial dog breeding operation. This bill is in the Judiciary Committee. I am waiting to find out which bill to support
SB 302 is a wonderful bill. "Dutch Law" to honor fallen law enforcement canines and their handlers. This bill first goes to Committee on Government Organization and then Finance.
SB 303 adds captive Cervids to the list of animals for whom one may kill a dog if observing a dog chasing or harming the animal. This would be deer farms. This bill is in Judiciary. I do not support this bill but please read the bill and make your own decisions.
SB 313 is another bill creating the spay/neuter assistance fund. This bill is in Senate Agriculture and then Senate Finance Comm. I do not know which of the three bills they are going to try to work. Please do nothing at this time. Sylvia
FOHO note* There are three spay neuter assistance bills. Two are House Bills and one is a Senate Bill. They are the same bills. We will let you know which of these spay neuter funding bills to support depending on which one gets moving first. SB 313 was sponsored by Kessler and Stollings so if they are your Senators, please thank them for sponsoring this bill.
HB 2015 will not be heard tomorrow in the Agriculture Comm. A new bill is to be drafted and will be heard on 2-2. Please plan to attend if you can.
HB 2716 creating the Dangerous Dog Act was introduced today. This bill is good with a few exceptions. I do not know if they plan to run this bill, so do nothing at this time. This is the third year for this bill and they have not heard it in committee the past two years. Sylvia
HB 2015 is the bill that regulates large scale breeders. This bill will be heard in the Agriculture Committee on 1-26 at 8:30am in Room 215 east. Your support is needed to get this bill out of committee. If you have a delegate on this committee, please email them and ask them to vote for this bill. To find out if your delegate is on this committee, please do the following listed in the FOHO note below. This is the only bill that is moving. Sylvia
FOHO note* : Select the 2011 WV Legislative/Search on the left menu. You will be in the legislative site, then select House, then committees, then Agriculture. You can email from that screen. You do not even have to leave our FOHO site to do all of this. This is an important bill so we need to strongly support it at this time.
HB 2504 Creating the Spay/Neuter Assistance Fund is almost the same bill as HB 2398. The bill has different sponsors. I do not know which bill they plan to try to move. I will let you know when I find out. Sylvia
FOHO note* HB 2504 is the Spay Neuter Funding Bill sponsored by Delegates Varner, Ferro, Cann, Kominar and Fragale. These are different sponsors than those who sponsored HB 2398. We want to thank these sponsors. If any of them are from your area, please give them a huge thanks. FOHO will review each bill and provide information on which is preferred. We are pleased that there is interest in providing spay neuter funding and hopeful that a spay neuter fund will be the result.
HB 2443 - This bill will prohibit wagering at animal fighting ventures and provide a felony animal penalty. This bill goes first to Agriculture and then Finance. This bill would help stop gamecock fighting.
HB 2450 - This bill changes two current laws to include cats that are injured by dogs. This also includes dogs that chase cats. I have very mixed feelings as most dogs will chase cats that come on their property. Please read the bill. This bill first goes to Agriculture and then to Judiciary. Greg Butcher's email address is
January 12, 2011
Our first entry for this session from Sylvia shows three good bills being submitted:
HB 2015 - Creating regulations for commercial dog breeding operations.
HB 2372 - Prohibiting abusive behavior towards elephants by an owner or manager.
HB 2398 - Creating the spay/neuter assistance fund. Sylvia
FOHO note* HB 2398 is a Spay Neuter Funding Bill for a financial solution for spay neuter options at the state level. This is the original bill from last year. This is called the Spay Neuter Assistance Fund Bill. Thank you to Delegates Manypenny, Guthrie, Brown, D. Walker, Skaff, Rowan, Caputo and Mahan for cosponsoring this very important bill. If any of these delegates are one of yours, send them a huge thank you!!