News and information from FAAWO members

  • 1 Mar 2019 3:24 PM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    How to Help Your Pet Get The Most Sleep

    Everyone needs sleep -- even pets. You might think your pet's sleep needs are similar to yours (as they may do most of their sleeping when you do), but the fact is animals have unique sleep needs and sometimes need help getting all of the rest they need.

    The good news is animals are often flexible sleepers. They can adjust their schedule to sleep when you're resting, out of the house, or otherwise not likely to engage with them. But even flexible sleepers can struggle to sleep well sometimes, and you can offer help as a pet parent.

    How Much Sleep Pets Need

    While most adult humans need somewhere in the neighborhood of eight hours of sleep each night, you can count on pets such as cats and dogs needing at least 12 hours of sleep. But it doesn't necessarily all happen at night.

    Dogs often have a sleep schedule similar to human toddlers. They need about 12 to 14 hours of sleep each 24 hour period. However, puppies or elderly dogs, extremely active dogs or large breeds may need more than that. They may consolidate most of their sleep at night during your rest period, then make up the rest of their sleep needs with daytime naps.

    Cats are known for their naps, and for a good reason: The average cat sleeps between 12 to 16 hours each day (more for kittens and elderly cats). And with that much sleeping, there's bound to be plenty of daytime napping. Like dogs, cats may adjust their schedule to yours. But generally, you can expect cats to be most active at dawn and dusk.

    How to Help Pets Sleep Well

    Pets may not need your help to sleep well. They may be able to rely on natural instincts and manage their own sleep needs. But if you notice your pet sleeping less than usual or acting tired while not getting the rest they need, you might need to intervene.

    • Offer a healthy diet. Sleep and overall health go hand in hand. Eating junk food or a meal that's too large before bed can make it tough for pets to get to sleep, so feed them an appropriate amount at a time that's early enough to give them a couple hours to digest before they should go to sleep for the night.
    • Make sure they're active. Wearing your pet out during the day can make for a night of more restful sleep. Offer regular physical activity, stimulation, and attention during the day.
    • Give them a healthy place to sleep. Like any member of the family, your pet needs a bed where they can rest and feel comfortable. Consider their needs and offer a bed that will help them sleep well at night.
    • Take care of their needs before you go to sleep. Pets may lie awake at night needing to go out to use the bathroom, hungry for a snack, or just wanting attention. Before you head off to bed, take some time to connect and make sure you've met their needs so they can rest without interruption.

    As flexible sleepers with natural instincts, you shouldn't be overly concerned with your pet's sleep, but too little or too much could indicate a problem that needs addressing. If you're worried about how much your pet is sleeping, talk to your vet about their sleep patterns and offer support for healthy sleep.

    Jackie Kepler is a sleep professional. She enjoys sleeping with cats, but sleeps on a king size bed because she needs her space, too.

  • 20 Feb 2019 9:44 AM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    Florida Humane Lobby Day
    March 12, 2019

    The biggest day of the year for animals—and animal advocates—is almost here!

    Please join the Humane Society of the United States and FAAWO for this exciting opportunity to discuss ways you can make a difference in the lives of animals. You'll also have the chance to meet with your legislators about puppy mills, local ordinances and preemption, the sale of shark fins and a cross-reporting bill.

    No prior experience is required to get involved. We will provide the support you need to make the largest impact!

    We will be joined by special guest speaker Amy Jesse, Director of Public Policy for HSUS's Stop Puppy Mills campaign.

    RSVP today A light vegan lunch will be provided.

    Where and When

    Tuesday, March 12
    9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    Challenger Learning Center
    200 South Duval Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301
    Cost: $8 (Please email Kate MacFall at if this creates a hardship for you.)


    9:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m. | Briefing for attendees and media
    1:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. | Humane Lobby Day, appointments with legislators
    4:00 p.m. | [Optional] Happy Hour at Harry's Bar, 301 S Bronough Street
    6:00 p.m. | [Optional] Red Dog Blue Dog Celebrity Bartender Benefit at Township, 619 S Woodward Ave.


    REGISTER HERE for Humane Lobby Day 

  • 2 Jan 2019 4:08 PM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    As the go-to pet experts across Central Florida, Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando does good things for dogs and cats and the people who love them. Formerly the SPCA of Central Florida, our goal is to provide compassionate and knowledgeable services for pets and to be leaders in innovative animal care and sheltering.

    More than 7,000 homeless dogs and cats will turn to the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando for caring, compassion and hope at our two animal shelters this year. Our highly skilled veterinarians will help and heal pets in our public veterinary clinics.

    Innovative programs like the Pet Apartment Registry and Community Cat Initiative will work to decrease the number of surrendered pets and homeless animals in Central Florida.

    Pet Alliance's Executive Director, Stephen Bardy, currently serves as the Legislative Chair on the FAAWO Board of Directors.

  • 8 Nov 2018 2:46 PM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    On Tuesday, November 8, 2018, Florida became the 41st state to ban greyhound racing. Eleven of the 17 tracks currently operating in the United States are located in Florida and will be shut down by the year 2020. 

    Greyhound welfare advocates celebrated as the votes came pouring in with 69% of voters choosing YES on Amendment 13. The battle to end this cruel sport has been waged for decades and the hard work of advocacy groups such as HSUS, Grey2K, ProtectDogs and more has finally paid off. 

    FAAWO is proud to have played a role in helping to spread the word in Florida and supports the broader message that this level of cruelty should not be tolerated in any state in our great nation.

  • 8 Sep 2018 7:33 PM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    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.


  • 31 Aug 2018 8:54 AM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    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

  • 4 Aug 2018 8:37 PM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    Courtesy of 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."

  • 10 Jul 2018 7:35 AM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    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:

    • screening for identification, such as tags and microchips, upon intake;
    • ša process for matching pets coming into the shelter with reports of lost pets made to the shelter by owners;
    •  public notice of stray dogs and cats received by the shelter, provided at the shelter or on the Internet;
    •  reasonable efforts to notify identified pet owners within 48 hours;
    • špublic notice of shelter hours, location, and return-to-owner process;
    • šaccess for owners to claim lost pets outside of normal business hours at least 1 weekend day per week and after 5:00 p.m. 1 weekday per week (no increase in total operating hours required);
    • direct return-to-owner protocol for returning lost dogs or cats to owners when owners have been identified by an officer in the field;
    • procedural safeguards to minimize the euthanasia of owned dogs and cats that shall include: record verification to ensure that each animal to be euthanized is the correct animal designated for the procedure and proper scanning for an implanted microchip using a universal scanner immediately prior to the procedure; and
    • temporary extension of local stray hold periods when an emergency is declared, if deemed appropriate by local government.

    The cruelty and lost pets provisions in SB 1576 go into effect October 1, 2018.  


    SB1576 Ponce's Law Training JH.pdf

    READ SB1576:

    SB 1576 Animal Welfare Enrolled.pdf

  • 9 Jul 2018 7:25 AM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    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   

    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

  • 21 Jun 2018 3:28 PM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    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!

    • Make sure your pet(s) wear collars and tags with up-to-date contact information and other identification.
    • Microchip your pet(s) – this is one of the best ways to ensure that you and your pet are reunited if you are separated. Always be sure to register the microchip with the manufacturer and keep your contact information up to date with the microchip company.
    • Purchase a pet carrier for each of your pets (write your pet’s name, your name and contact information on each carrier). Familiarize your pet with its transport crate before a crisis.
    • Keep a leash and/or carrier nearby the exit.
    • Ensure proper equipment for pets to ride in the car (carriers, harnesses, and pet seatbelts).
    • If you do not have a car, arrange transportation with neighbors, family and friends. You can also contact your local government to learn about transportation options during a disaster.

    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
    • Sheltering in a facility away from home (during an evacuation)

    Sheltering in Place

    When sheltering at home with your pet, make sure the room chosen is pet-friendly in the following ways:

    • Select a safe room, preferably an interior room with no (or few) windows.
    • Remove any toxic chemicals or plants.
    • Close off small areas where frightened cats could get stuck in (such as vents or beneath heavy furniture).

    Sheltering during an Evacuation

    • Contact your local emergency management office and ask if they offer accommodations for owners and their pets.
    • If accommodations are needed for your pet(s) contact local veterinary clinics, boarding facilities, and local animal shelters. Visit the Humane Society website to find a shelter in your area.
    • Contact family or friends outside the evacuation area.
    • Contact a pet-friendly hotel, particularly along evacuation routes.
    • Make plans before disaster strikes for where you and your pets will go. Be aware that pets may not be allowed in local human shelters, unless they are service animals.
    • Check with family or friends outside the evacuation area.
    • Pet-friendly hotels

    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

    • Food (in airtight waterproof containers or cans) and water for at least 2 weeks for each pet
    • Food and water bowls and a manual can opener
    • For cats: litter box and litter
    • For dogs: plastic bags for poop
    • Clean-up items for bathroom accidents (paper towels, plastic trash bags, and bleach-containing cleaning agent)
    • Medications for at least 2 weeks, along with any treats used to give the medications and pharmacy contact for refills
    • Sturdy leashes or harnesses
    • Carrier or cage that is large enough for your pet to stand comfortably and turn around; towels or blankets
    • Pet toys and bed (familiar items to help the pet[s] feel more comfortable).

    Medical records

    • Rabies vaccination certificate
    • Current vaccination record
    • If your pet has a microchip, a record of the microchip number
    • Prescription for medication(s)
    • For cats, most recent FeLV/FIV test result or vaccination date
    • Summary of pertinent medical history; ask your veterinarian for a copy
    • A handout containing identification information (in the event you get separated from your pet)
    • Current photo of pet
    • Pet’s descriptive features (age, sex, neutered/non-neutered status, color(s), and approximate weight)
    • Microchip number
    • Owner contact information (cell phone, work phone, home phone)
    • Contact information of a close relative or friend
    • A handout with boarding instructions, such as feeding schedule, medications, and any known allergies and behavior problems
    • Documents, medications, and food should be stored in waterproof containers

Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organizations


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

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