Eye On Olympia

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 16, 2008, 9:54 A.M.

Lawmaker: Close loophole in dog-fighting ban…

Saying that a quirk of state law allows bloodthirsty dog owners to sic their animals on foxes and coyotes -- even in pens -- Rep. Hans Dunshee is sponsoring a bill to make it a crime if an owner "directs, commands or facilitates a canine in his or her possession or control to injure another canine." ("Canines" including dogs, wolves, foxes and coyotes.)

The existing law includes exemptions for animals guarding livestock and for legal hunting, and the revision would leave those in place.

"I respect our local hunteres, who are going after wild animals for meat," Dunshee said in a statement announcing his filing of the bill. "What I don't respect is sending a pack of dogs out to rip apart coyotes or foxes with the only goal being somebody's sick entertainment."

Hearing: Friday at 8 a.m. before the House Judiciary Committee.

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