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The information contained within this blog is for information purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of FAAOW.

  • 5 Apr 2018 3:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    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

  • 5 Apr 2018 12:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Message by Renee Rivard and reposted with her permission

    As you may know, the Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) is currently reviewing whether or not to add a proposal to our Florida ballot in November that would phase out greyhound racing.  The CRC needs to give a final answer by May 10th.  We had a great showing of animal advocates to all of the meetings that the CRC held around Florida. There was also a big showing of greyhound breeders who do not want this proposal to go to the ballot. The CRC voted 18 to 14 to send the proposal to the "Style and Drafting" Committee.  Now we wait for a final vote to decide it the proposal will make it to our ballot in November for Florida residents to vote on. In the meantime, the only thing we can do is send e-mails and make phone calls to the commissioners to persuade them to vote for our proposal.

    Florida tracks have roughly 8,000 racing greyhounds.  Greyhound breeders argue that all of these dogs will have to be euthanized if greyhound racing is phased out by 2020.   The Executive Director of The Humane Society Tampa Bay stated at the St. Pete meeting that her shelter and many other organizations are willing to help take the greyhounds that will be retired. To put the CRC commissioners at ease about this, I am encouraging shelters and rescues to contact the CRC commissioners and let them know that your organization would be willing to help place greyhounds into adoptive homes should greyhound racing be phased out.  

    Please take the time to contact the commissioners (e-mail addresses below) if your organization is willing to do so. Please do so right away as a final vote will be coming up soon. 

    Thank You!!

    Commissioner E-mail Addresses:






































  • 21 Mar 2018 12:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Great news for greyhounds! Proposal 67 passed the first floor vote last night, 18-14, and is now on the way to the Style and Drafting Committee.

    This is a HUGE win for the dogs and much credit should be given to the many animal welfare organizations, and individual supporters who made calls and sat through hours of public hearings to be their voice. 

    We will keep you updated on the next steps to victory for greyhounds. 

  • 8 Mar 2018 3:07 PM | Nash McCutchen (Administrator)

    Message and photo courtesy of HSUS and reprinted with their permission

    The CRC is considering a proposal that would phase out greyhound racing and ultimately prohibit it in Florida.  The CRC commissioners are taking public comments at their final public hearing this Tuesday in St. Pete and it is essential that we have an enormous attendance.  Please join us, HSUS, GREY2K, ASPCA, and many others to speak in support of proposal 67 for the dogs.  Members of the public may speak for up to 2 minutes and even a short comment will be very helpful. Don't know what to say? Here are some examples:

    • “Please support proposal 67 for the greyhounds!”
    • “I urge you to support proposal 67 to phase out greyhound racing in our great state. These gentle dogs deserve better”  


    Tuesday, March 13, 2018 
    1:00-7:00 PM EST 
    University of South Florida - St. Petersburg
    University Student Center
    200 6th Ave S
    St. Petersburg, FL 33701

    What time is the meeting?

    You can come at any time between 1:00 and 7:00 and speakers are called up in the order their appearance card was submitted. The purpose of the hearing is for the Commission to hear from members of the public. People who sign up to speak will be given two minutes to offer feedback on any CRC proposal they want to talk about.

    How long should I plan to be there?

    There is no way to know exactly but at previous hearings advocates/ speakers typically waited for an hour or 2 + for their turn to speak.  You may want to arrive before noon- CRC staff will begin accepting speaker registration cards at 12:00pm. 


    Proposal 67 Fact Sheet

    CRC Website

    End Greyhound Cruelty Website

  • 20 Nov 2017 12:35 PM | Nash McCutchen (Administrator)

    From the Humane Society of Tampa Bay

    TAMPA, FLA (November 20, 2017) – Dr. Karla Bard, Director of Medical Operations at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, led a presentation of landmark research findings at the annual meeting of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) at their special veterinary session on Saturday, October 7th in Atlanta, GA. This prestigious honor reflects the high esteem in which Dr. Bard and the Humane Society of Tampa Bay (and AAHA-accredited veterinary facility) are held and the respect gained for their unwavering commitment to relevancy and leading in the field.

    The milestone research findings alleviate concerns that a nationwide rise in high volume spay-neuter facilities has been accompanied by a lower quality of care that leads to an increase in post-surgical mortality rates. According to results from the six-year study, however, high-volume spay-neuter surgery is associated with lower mortality rates, approaching that achieved in human surgery.

    “High volume spay–neuter clinics have been established to save lives by reducing the number of animals admitted to and euthanized in animal shelters,” said Dr. Bard. “The results of our study confirm the absolute safety of these clinics and offer further evidence to support aggressive spay-neuter initiatives.”

    The study and subsequently published research was conducted in partnership with Dr. Julie K. Levy, Maddie’s® Professor of Shelter Medicine at the University of Florida Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program, and supported by a Maddie’s Fund® grant.

  • 9 Nov 2017 5:32 PM | Nash McCutchen (Administrator)

    Did you know the Florida Constitution allows the Legislature to start session early in even-numbered years?

    The 2018 Florida legislative session will start January 9 and it looks like it will be a busy session for animal welfare issues.  The Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organizations is currently reviewing several bills that have already been drafted and sponsored in the House of Representatives and the Senate and we expect more to be filed in the coming weeks.  FAAWO will keep you updated on these bills and our position on each as we get closer to the start of the session.  Meantime, below is a list of currently submitted bills and links to each.

    Companion Animal Public-Private Partnership Act: Prohibits animal shelters from euthanizing animals under certain conditions; authorizes animal shelters to assess certain fees; provides exceptions.

    HB 249 has been introduced by Rep. Barbara Watson in the House.

    HB 249

    Animal Importation: Prohibits shelters, organizations, agencies, & individuals from importing animals into this state.

    Bills have been filed in both the Senate and in the House. SB 132 was filed by Sen. Greg Steube; HB 153 by Rep. Elizabeth Porter.

    SB 132

    HB 153

    Animal Hoarding:
    Defining the term “animal hoarding”; prohibiting animal hoarding

    SB 86 has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Dorothy Hukill.

    SB 86

    Animal Cruelty: Prohibiting the malicious or capricious killing of dogs or cats; providing penalties

    SB 200 has been filed by Sen. Greg Steube.

    SB 200

  • 11 Oct 2017 1:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hurricane Irma demonstrated the need for Florida animal welfare organizations to work together in support of existing and newly created homeless animals.  Our collective response illustrated what happens when organizations bring together their focus and resources in addressing the needs of others.  Using our state-wide information and resource network, FAAWO and several other animal welfare organizations helped connect shelters negatively impacted by Irma with those capable of offering assistance and support. 

    FAAWO received offers of assistance from 23 organizations and individuals outside Florida (fourteen varying states as well as support from organizations located in Canada) and 24 offers of assistance from organizations located within Florida. Ready, able and willing to offering support in transporting animals, delivering supplies, and coordinating logistics, the outpouring of support was incredible. Hundreds of animals were saved from dire conditions and many found new homes through the grace and support of other welfare organizations and the communities they serve.

    One of FAAWO’s goals is to unite animal advocates throughout Florida.  Hurricane Irma highlighted ways our network works together to improve our collective response to disasters through the development of a state-wide response team.  Working collaboratively, FAAWO, FACA, state and national agencies along with other animal welfare organizations will continue to learn from Irma and prepare for future events.

  • 18 Sep 2017 9:06 AM | Nash McCutchen (Administrator)


    UPDATE 9/17/17: The ASPCA is offering food, crates, plastic carriers, food of all kinds, bedding, pet beds, treats, litter, etc. to those impacted by Irma or assisting with recovery.

    For more information please email our distribution center.  Provide us with information on your disaster recovery needs: distribution.center@aspca.org

    9/9/17: The scope of Irma’s impact in FL is not yet known, but it’s clear many, many agencies will be affected. The Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organizations (FAAWO), Florida’s statewide membership organization for nonprofit animal welfare agencies, is coordinating with its members to assess needs and provide support during and after the storm.
    If you are at a shelter in Florida and need assistance of any kind OR if you’re able to offer trained personnel for animal care and rescue, transport of animals out for adoption, supplies, equipment, etc., please contact Lori Minton at lminton@spcatampabay.org. Lori is doing the initial triage of offers and requests on behalf of FAAWO.


    Lacie Davis, Disaster Manager

    Kristen Limbert, Transport Logistics
  • 6 Sep 2017 1:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    If you talk to anyone in the animal shelter world, they will tell you that ours is a constantly changing atmosphere. At the SPCA of Brevard, we pride ourselves on being progressive and open minded. If an article comes through our email or if another shelter has a new policy they like, we will give it a go and see what we think.

    This month, our newest idea to come through was “swapping” our animals with other no-kill animal shelters in Florida. Over the years, we have taken dogs and cats from private rescues to give those animals an opportunity to meet a new audience and increase their possibility of adoption. However, we have never sent our own animals out.  Tibor Feigel, our friend and volunteer Dog Trainer from West Palm mentioned that his shelter in West Palm was talking with the SPCA Florida about swapping dogs… but the movement had not begun. When he mentioned this, I was so excited because it seemed like a new opportunity for some of our long-term adoptable dogs…. I got the contact number for his person at SPCA Florida and started the process.

    Rudie Fox at the SPCA Florida was excited as well. When I told her that we wanted to try swapping, she was all for it. We exchanged lists of dogs and took a day to pick five from the list that we thought would do well in our shelters.  Several days later, I was on the road to Lakeland with five of our longest-term dogs on board. The exchange went wonderfully, without a hitch. Any concerns we had with doing this “swap” melted away once I saw the SPCA Florida’s large playgroup yards, clean kennels, and behavior notes on all of their adoptable dogs. I felt confident that our dogs would be loved and well taken care of, and I feel confident that this process will go smoothly. I am hopeful all ten dogs involved will find new homes quickly and having a new audience and staff will benefit them greatly.

    If all goes well, we hope to continue this relationship with a common goal of higher adoption rates and a shorter length-of-stay, and of course, happier dogs.  For more information on this program feel free to contact Angie Friers at ed@spcabrevard.com or Adam Stanfield at astanfield@spcaflorida.org.

  • 5 Sep 2017 5:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From the ASPCA:

    America’s horses—both domestic and wild—are in serious jeopardy.

    Every year Congress must approve language prohibiting the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from using taxpayer dollars to inspect horse slaughter facilities. The amendment effectively bars this grisly industry from setting up shop in the U.S. Unfortunately, this year, the House Appropriations Committee failed to pass the necessary amendment, meaning horse slaughter could return in a matter of months.


Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organizations


Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organizations is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization

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