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Can we have animals at the center?
(1) When animals are on the center premises you must:
(a) Notify the parents in writing that animals are on the premises and the potential health risks associated with the animals to include how to address the needs of children having allergies to animals;
(b) Have a signed document from each parent stating they understand the potential health risks;
(c) Not hang pet containers or cages in corridors, entryways or over where children eat, sleep, and play;
(d) Post handwashing signs in areas where pets are housed;
(e) Have containers or cages to prevent debris from spilling out of the container or cage. The container or cage must not be located in corridors, entrance ways, or where children eat, or play;
(f) Assign responsible staff to ensure pet containers, cages, and litter boxes are cleaned and disinfected at least weekly and more often if needed;
(g) Not allow animals in food preparation areas. If the sink is used for cleaning food or utensils it cannot be used to clean pet supplies;
(h) Not allow animals in rooms that typically are used by infants or toddlers;
(i) Keep on file proof of current rabies vaccinations for all dogs and cats;
(j) Meet local requirements in counties with immunization, vaccination and licensing requirements for animals; and
(k) Organize children into small groups for supervised activity for handling of pets.
(2) You must develop policies and procedures for management of pets to include:
(a) How the needs of children who have allergies to pets will be accommodated;
(b) How pet containers, cages, litter boxes will be cleaned and sanitized and who will do it;
(c) How pets will receive food and water, and be kept clean and who will do it;
(d) Curricula for teaching children and staff about safety and hygiene when handling pets; and
(e) Pets (excluding aquatic animals) showing signs of illness must be removed from the facility until they have been seen, treated and given approval to return to the center by a veterinarian. Written proof of veterinary visits must be maintained on file.
(3) Reptiles and amphibians must be in an aquarium or other totally self-contained area except during educational activities involving the reptile. Children five years of age or less must not physically handle reptiles and amphibians.
(4) Animals with a history of biting or other aggressive behaviors must not be on the premises of the child care center.
(5) You must ensure children wash their hands after handling animals.
[WSR 06-15-075, recodified as § 170-295-5170, filed 7/13/06, effective 7/13/06. Statutory Authority: Chapters 74.12
RCW. WSR 03-14-110, § 388-295-5170, filed 6/30/03, effective 8/1/03.]