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After 2 fires at dog daycare businesses, proposed bill aims to increase pet safety at kennels – KING5.com

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SEATTLE — Washington state lawmakers have proposed a bill that aims to increase safety at dog daycare and boarding facilities after both of Seattle’s Dog Resort locations caught fire in the span of just nine months.
Nearly a year ago on Feb. 1, 2023, a fire tore through The Dog Resort in Lake City where more than 100 dogs escaped and all survived.
The Seattle Fire Department said it was accidental and started by the dryer. According to a fire inspection report from Seattle Fire, multiple employees said this had happened several times in the past, but they were able to control the flames or reach the dryers before anything caught fire.
Fran Moulton worked at the dog daycare’s SODO facility for a month and a half, and said there were issues with the dryer at that location, too.
Then in November 2023, the SODO facility went up in flames and a dog that ran from the fire was killed on I-5. The cause of that fire is still under investigation.
“I also wasn’t surprised that it happened … and it’s sad that it wasn’t surprising,” Moulton said.
It was shocking for State Rep. Darya Farivar, who started looking into the issue after the first fire.
“I found very quickly that there is next to nothing in law about this,” said Farivar, a Democrat who represents Washington’s 46th Legislative District. “We don’t have animal shelters defined, we don’t have boarding facilities or kennels defined. There’s really nothing.” 
Farivar proposed House Bill 2403 that would require dog and cat kennels to have a fire alarm system or fire sprinklers in every building that houses pets. If passed, a fire inspector would make sure kennels have those in place so owners can get or keep a business license with the state’s Department of Revenue.
“100% I feel like sprinklers would be a good idea. I think monthly evaluations where someone should come and check the place and make sure it can sustain a fire and know what to do in the situation,” former employee Moulton said.
Moulton said she left the job over condition concerns for both dogs and staff and believes this proposed bill is a step in the right direction.
“That shouldn’t ever be a worry, especially at a dog daycare. Parents should be comfortable sending the dogs there and their dogs should be comfortable being there,” said Moulton.
Another key piece of the proposed legislation would require businesses to notify customers if the kennel has had its license revoked or suspended. The business would be required to post the information in a spot easily visible for customers. 
“We need to make sure that when we’re talking about animals that are caged up, and they don’t have any way of helping themselves, that we’re taking care of the situation immediately and preventing it if at all possible,” Farivar said.
Farivar said there are no state regulations when it comes to staffing at these facilities and while this bill, doesn’t tackle that she said this bill is just scratching the surface when it comes to that industry.
“It’s my intention to continue looking into this after we hopefully pass this legislation. I think there’s a lot that we need to be doing around animal welfare and businesses that are working with animals in any way, shape, or form,” Farivar said.
The proposed bill have a public hearing in the House Committee on Local Government at 10:30 am Tuesday, Jan. 23. 
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