FAAWO has identified the following legislative issues that currently have bills in both the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate. We ask that your members join us in either supporting or opposing the following bills. Check back with us for updates on the status of bills that may need your support or opposition.
SUPPORT - SB 1082 /HB 241 FL Domestic Violence Injunction - clarifies that petitioners requesting court-ordered protection from domestic violence may receive temporary possession and care of a family pet; may order the respondent to stay away from the pet; and may forbid the respondent from taking or harming the pet.
SUPPORT - HB 685 / SB 980 Lost, Stray Dogs & Cats - Requires animal welfare organizations who accept lost animals to adopt policies & procedures to achieve goals to maximize live outcomes while keeping a balance with public safety. The bill refers to The Best Practices for Humane Care and High Live Release Programming that FAAWO and FACA published last year. Most importantly this bill would allow trained shelter technicians to implant microchips for shelter animals, a practice that veterinarians had declared a “Surgical procedure” years ago.
This bill was penned by the Florida Animal Control Association and has support from HSUS and ASPCA.
OPPOSE - HB 1237 / SB 1698 Puppy Mill Preemption – Called a Regulation of Pet Stores, the bill would require pet stores to be licensed; it would limit sources; it would provide for inspection and audit and authorize disciplinary and civil action. So looks wonderful on the surface but is designed to undo the over 70 local laws throughout the state already in place that prohibit or seriously limit the retail sale of animals. It would also prevent any future ordinances from passing that would prohibit or regulate the sale of pets.
This bill is one of HSUS priority bills this year and is supported by ASPCA. Attaching a copy of the bill's text and a little screenshot of HSUS talking points.
SUPPORT- HB 363 / SB 186 Pet Leasing
Pet leases are performed in pet stores and often the buyer doesn't even realize what they are getting themselves into. Legal ownership of the pet during the lease is in question. What if the pet becomes deathly ill? What if the owner cannot complete their payments? Pet leases are a way for pet stores to charge exorbitant amounts for puppy mill dogs.
This bill is a high priority for ASPCA.