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From Orlando Sentinel, Kate Santich
The Florida Supreme Court on Friday ruled that Amendment 13 — a proposed ban on greyhound racing — can appear on the November ballot.
On Wednesday, August 29th, The Supreme Court listened to arguments from both sides of the Amendment 13 table during a 40-minute hearing. From our standpoint, it was clear that the judges understood the importance of protecting dogs in FL and were unsympathetic to false claims put forward by the opposition to Amendment 13.
Below is a video of the hearing. We will keep you informed about progress on this issue.
Supreme Court video here
Courtesy of ProtectDogs.com and reposted with their permission
"On August 1st [the Protect Dogs - Yes on 13] campaign hit a bump in the road. Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers found in favor of the Florida Greyhound Association in a lawsuit that would prevent voters from having a voice on greyhound racing.
If this sounds like a strange ruling, you're right. But we want to be clear: the Yes on 13 campaign is full steam ahead.
Attorney General Pam Bondi has already filed an appeal and we are confident that this disappointing ruling will be overturned by a higher court.
The greyhound breeders’ lawsuit is nothing more than a desperate attempt to prevent voters from having a voice on whether greyhound confinement and deaths should continue. It was filed because racing folks know that when Amendment 13 appears on the ballot, Floridians will vote Yes on 13 for the dogs.
Our opponents want us to be disheartened and give up. They want us to lose faith. In short: They don't have the grassroots power and HUGE coalition ready for change. They know they're on the losing side of history, so they're resorting to dirty tricks and lawsuits. They are trying to silence us, and we can’t let that happen!
Today, we're going to work on the campaign like nothing has changed, and we urge you to do the same. We're confident this ruling will be overturned. Please continue to fight for Amendment 13. It is in our power to end dog racing, but we must keep working and have faith that the greyhounds will prevail.
You want to know what should really scare them? Here's that momentum we were talking about: Amendment 13 has now won the support of Doris Day, nine civic groups, 30 local animal shelters, 29 animal welfare organizations, 19 leaders of the equine community, 13 current or former state lawmakers, seven local elected officials, five greyhound adoption groups, seven editorial boards or news organizations, 28 candidates for Congress, state and local offices, an environmental group, a local church, two local dog clubs, six local animal rescue groups and two Constitution Revision Commissioners.
We'll keep you posted. We knew this would be a tough fight, but we're confident we have the right team to win this – and that starts with YOU.
Let's go make history for greyhounds. Florida has a proud tradition of leading on animal welfare, and we are confident Amendment 13 will pass in November."
In April of 2017, a nine-month-old Labrador puppy named “Ponce” was allegedly beaten to death in his home. Later in the year, the aftermath of Hurricane Irma displaced hundreds of dogs and cats from their families as people and animals alike sought refuge across county lines. In response, during the 2018 legislative session, state lawmakers passed SB 1576 Animal Welfare by Sen. Steube (R-Sarasota) and Rep. Leek (R-Daytona Beach).
SB 1576 contains protections for animals from cruelty and safeguards for owned lost pets. SB 1576 increases the sentencing guidelines level for violations of felony aggravated animal cruelty and clarifies a court’s ability to issue orders of no animal contact for those convicted of misdemeanor or felony animal cruelty.
In addition, SB 1576 created Florida State Statute 823.151 to help animal shelters of all sizes return lost pets to their owners by requiring shelters, animal control agencies, and humane organizations that accept lost or stray dogs and cats to develop reasonable policies and procedures to quickly and reliably return lost pets to their families.
While many animal shelters in Florida currently have reasonable lost pet policies in place, adopting statewide minimum standards is a crucial next step towards elevating and standardizing commonsense practices that can reunite lost pets with their owners, and the Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organization applauds the Florida Legislature for passing this humane legislation.
SB 1576 creates F.S.S. 823.151, which requires public or private shelters, animal control agencies, and humane organizations such as rescue groups, who take in lost or stray dogs or cats, to develop written policies and procedures to ensure that owned pets are quickly and reliably returned to owners. Such policies and procedures must include the following criteria specified in the new law:
The cruelty and lost pets provisions in SB 1576 go into effect October 1, 2018.
VIEW A TRAINING SLIDESHOW:
SB1576 Ponce's Law Training JH.pdf
SB 1576 Animal Welfare Enrolled.pdf
Protect Dogs- Yes on 13! is a grassroots campaign led by the Humane Society of the United States and GREY2K USA to end the cruelty of greyhound racing in Florida by the end of 2020. This November Florida voters will finally have a chance to end this cruelty and join the 40 other states where greyhound racing is already illegal. These gentle dogs are confined for 20-23 hours a day in cages barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around, they suffer injuries and sometimes death. According to state records a greyhound dies on a FL track every three days. This is NO way to treat a dog. Vote yes on 13 for the dogs! To learn more or to volunteer visit https://voteyeson13.org/
Paid political advertisement paid for by FAAWO, PO BOX 220923, West Palm Beach, FL, 33422 and approved by the Committee to Protect Dogs 2640 Mitcham Dr. Tallahassee, FL 32308
Hurricane Season is here and it is an obvious time for pet owners to review their disaster preparedness plan for our pets. However, this plan should be in place all year in case of an emergency.
The Center for Disease Control offers the following suggestions regarding disaster preparedness for pets. It is a very comprehensive overview with great information to share with your staff, volunteers and community.
If a natural disaster strikes, what will happen to your pet? Leaving pets out of evacuation plans can put pets, pet owners, and first responders in danger. Even if you try to create a safe place for them, pets left behind during a disaster are likely to be injured, lost, or worse. It is your responsibility as a pet owner to find out what type of shelters and assistance are available in your area to accommodate pets and to include pets in your disaster plan to keep them safe during an emergency.
Have you included pets in your disaster plan? Do not wait until it is too late. Start today by doing the following:
Be prepared: make a plan and prepare a disaster kit for your pet.
Have a Plan!
Decide where you and your pet are going to stay. Based on the severity of a disaster, you may have two options for your pets:
Sheltering in Place
When sheltering at home with your pet, make sure the room chosen is pet-friendly in the following ways:
Sheltering during an Evacuation
Prepare a Pet Disaster Kit
Prepare a disaster kit for your pet(s), so evacuation will go smoothly for your entire family. Ask your veterinarian for help putting it together. Here is a checklist to get you started. Some examples of what to include are:
Disaster Supplies for Pets
Summertime is here! Throughout Florida we enjoy consistent warm temperatures, humidity, tropical rain and a host of other unique environmental challenges that can have an effect on our pets.
Here are some tips you may want to pass on to your staff, volunteers and your community regarding summertime pet care so we can all enjoy a safe and fun summer! Thanks to the ASPCA for providing these tips!
On June 11 the Nassau County commissioners passed an ordinance that prohibits dogs from being tethered unless a responsible person is outside with the dog and the dog is within visual range of that person.
By population, Nassau County is the smallest Florida county to enact an attended-tethering-only ordinance. Nassau County joins sixteen other Florida counties and dozens of Florida cities and towns to remove man's best friend from the end of a chain.
Photo courtesy of Florida Politics
Yesterday, April 16th, Proposal 6012 was passed by the Constitution Revision Commission with a 27 - 10 vote. Now the fate of dog racing in Florida, and the lives of thousands of greyhounds, are in the hands of voters as the amendment will appear on the November 2018 ballot. The amendment needs 60% approval to be added to the constitution.
We hope you'll join us in spreading the news now to dog lovers and animal advocates across the state to vote in support of this life-saving amendment.
It’s official, on March 23, Governor Rick Scott signed SB 1576 Ponce’s Animal Welfare Law (Steube, Leek, Cruz—combined bills HB 823/HB473/SB 952)! This important bill will help keep Florida’s human and animal communities safe by strengthening Florida’s animal cruelty law and elevating and standardizing animal sheltering efforts to reunite lost pets with their families.
Here are the 9 criteria outlined by the new law:
1. Upon intake, screening of lost or stray dogs and cats for identification, including tags, licenses, implanted microchips, and tattoos.
2. A process for matching received lost or stray dogs and cats with any reports of lost pets received by the shelter from owners.
3. Public notice of lost or stray dogs and cats received, provided at the shelter or on the Internet, as appropriate, within 48 hours of the animal’s admission.
4. Reasonable efforts to notify identified owners of lost or stray dogs and cats within 48 hours of identification.
5. Notice to the public of the shelter’s location, hours, fees, and the return-to-owner process posted on the Internet, with the shelter’s business hours posted outside the shelter facility and recorded on the shelter’s telephone answering system message.
6. Access for owners to retrieve dogs and cats at least 1 weekend day per week and after 5:00 p.m.
7. Direct return-to-owner protocols that allow animal control officers in the field to directly return lost or stray dogs and cats to their owners.
8. Procedural safeguards to minimize the euthanasia of owned dogs and cats.
9. Temporary extension of local minimum stray hold periods
Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organizationsinfo@faawo.org
2018 COPYRIGHT FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF ANIMAL WELFARE ORGANIZATIONS
Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organizations is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization