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Update on State Dog Bills

Neither House Concurrent Resolution 16, a bill which would make the rescued shelter dog Oregon’s state dog, nor Senate Concurrent Resolution 4, a bill which would make the Border collie Oregon’s state dog, have made much progress this session.

We testified against SCR 4 at its public hearing in March to promote HCR 16. Since then, SCR 4 has not been granted a work session. In a work session, all the members of the committee, in this case the Senate Committee on Rules, vote on whether to pass the bill to the senate floor. The fact that it has been over a month since the hearing and the chairperson still has not scheduled a work session may indicate that there is not sufficient support in the committee to pass it to the floor.

On April 27th we testified in favor of HCR 16 at a public hearing before the House Committee on Rules. Brian Posewitz presented testimony on behalf of Humane Oregon. One of our supporters, Emma Alsept-Ellis, joined him as an experienced animal volunteer. Scott Beckstead, a Humane Oregon Board Member, testified on behalf of the Humane Society of the United States. Numerous other animal advocates brought their unique perspectives to testimony in favor of the bill, many associated with the Oregon Humane Society. About a dozen individuals presented testimony in favor of the bill, while there was only one testimony spoken against the bill by proponents of designating the Newfoundland as Oregon's state dog. A total of 118 pieces of written testimony were submitted online; nearly all of this testimony was in favor of HCR 16.

Nonetheless, the progress of this HCR 16 is uncertain. HCR 16 has yet to be scheduled for a work session, which is its the next step towards becoming a law. In a work session for this bill each member of the House Committee on Rules will vote on whether to pass the bill to house floor, where the entire Oregon House of Representatives will vote on it. The committee chairperson, Representative Jennifer Williamson, will not schedule a work session until she knows there is enough support in the committee to pass the bill. We have checked in with the HCR 16’s Chief Sponsor, humane champion Representative David Gomberg, a couple times following the hearing. He does not yet know where all the committee members stand on this bill. Currently, we are giving the legislators room to work and not advising any action from HCR 16 supporters. We will send out an action alert whenever we believe action would help push this or any other good animal bill forward.

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