Florida Senate - 2017 SB 1162 By Senator Rader 29-00922-17 20171162__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Companion Animal Protection 3 Act; providing definitions; directing animal shelters 4 to take certain measures relating to the holding, 5 care, treatment, and euthanasia of animals; providing 6 exceptions; providing for declaratory or injunctive 7 relief actions; providing an effective date. 8 9 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 10 11 Section 1. Companion Animal Protection Act.— 12 (1) As used in this section, the term: 13 (a) “Animal shelter” means a public or private facility 14 that: 15 1. Has a physical structure that provides temporary or 16 permanent shelter for stray, abandoned, abused, or owner 17 surrendered animals. 18 2. Is operated, owned, or maintained by a society for the 19 prevention of cruelty to animals, humane society, pound, animal 20 control officer, government entity, or contractor for a 21 government entity. 22 (b) “Irremediable physical suffering” means a poor or grave 23 prognosis for being able to live without severe, unremitting 24 pain, even with comprehensive, prompt, and necessary veterinary 25 care, as certified in writing by a licensed veterinarian. 26 (c) “Licensed veterinarian” means a person licensed to 27 practice veterinary medicine in this state. 28 (d) “Rescue organization” means an animal rescue 29 organization, animal adoption organization, or organization 30 formed for the prevention of cruelty to animals that is 31 described in s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and 32 exempt from taxation under s. 501(a) of the Internal Revenue 33 Code. 34 (2)(a) An animal shelter shall: 35 1. Ensure that all animals are checked as soon as possible 36 after impoundment, but no later than 1 business day, for all 37 currently available methods of identification, including 38 microchips, identification tags, and licenses. 39 2. Maintain continuously updated lists of animals reported 40 lost and found and check animals in the shelter for matches to 41 these lists at least once daily. 42 3. Post a photograph of and information regarding each 43 stray animal impounded by the shelter on the Internet with 44 sufficient detail to allow the animal to be recognized and 45 claimed by its owner. 46 (b) If a possible owner is identified, the animal shelter 47 shall undertake due diligence to notify the owner or caretaker 48 of the whereabouts of the animal and any procedures available 49 for the lawful recovery of the animal. These efforts shall 50 include, but are not limited to, notifying the possible owner by 51 telephone, mail, and personal service to the last known address. 52 (3)(a) An animal may not be euthanized at an animal shelter 53 sooner than 5 business days after the date of impoundment. 54 (b) An animal impounded as a stray with identification or 55 whose owner has been identified shall be held and made available 56 for owner reclamation for 4 business days after the date of 57 impoundment. 58 (c) An animal impounded as a stray without identification 59 and whose owner has not been identified shall be made available 60 for owner reclamation for 3 business days after the date of 61 impoundment. 62 (d) At any time, an animal impounded as a stray may be 63 placed in foster care or transferred to an animal rescue 64 organization or other shelter, subject to the following: 65 1. An animal transferred under this subsection remains 66 subject to reclamation by its owner pursuant to paragraphs (b) 67 and (c). 68 2. Documentation of an animal transferred under this 69 paragraph, including a photograph of the animal and relevant 70 information pertaining to impoundment and transfer of the 71 animal, shall be maintained in physical or electronic form for 72 public review at the animal shelter that originally impounded 73 the animal or on the shelter’s website for the duration of 74 impoundment under paragraphs (b) and (c). 75 3. An owner that satisfies an animal shelter’s requirements 76 for reclamation is entitled to reclaim the animal even if the 77 animal has been transferred and is no longer physically in the 78 animal shelter’s custody. At the owner’s discretion, the owner 79 has the right to physically redeem the animal at the animal 80 shelter that originally impounded the animal. 81 (e) An animal that is impounded or surrendered by its owner 82 may be reclaimed upon his or her change of heart for 2 business 83 days after the date of impoundment if the animal has not been 84 adopted or transferred. 85 (f) This subsection does not apply to: 86 1. An animal impounded for purposes of sterilization. 87 2. An animal suspected of carrying and exhibiting signs of 88 rabies, as determined by a licensed veterinarian. 89 3. A dog that, after physically attacking a person, has 90 been determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be 91 dangerous pursuant to state law. 92 4. An animal experiencing irremediable physical suffering. 93 (g) At any time after impoundment, an animal shelter may 94 transfer an animal, except an animal arriving with 95 identification or an animal with a known owner, to a nonprofit 96 rescue organization or group, a private shelter, or an 97 organization formed for the prevention of cruelty to animals if 98 potential owners are given the same rights of reclamation given 99 to owners of animals held at the animal shelter. 100 (4)(a) During the entirety of its stay at an animal 101 shelter, an animal shall be provided: 102 1. Fresh food and fresh water. 103 2. Environmental enrichment to promote psychological well 104 being, including, but not limited to, socialization, toys, and 105 treats, and exercise as needed but at least once daily, except 106 that a dog exhibiting vicious behavior towards people or has 107 been determined to be dangerous by a court of competent 108 jurisdiction is not required to be exercised during the holding 109 period. 110 3. Prompt and necessary cleaning of its cage, kennel, or 111 other living environment at least two times per day to prevent 112 disease and to ensure an environment that is welcoming to the 113 public and hygienic for both the public and the animal. The 114 cleaning shall be conducted in accordance with a protocol 115 developed in coordination with a licensed veterinarian and shall 116 require that the animal not be exposed to water from hoses or 117 sprays, cleaning solutions, detergents, solvents, or chemicals. 118 4. Prompt and necessary veterinary care, including, but not 119 limited to, preventive vaccinations, cage rest, fluid therapy, 120 and pain management or antibiotics sufficient to alleviate any 121 pain caused by disease or injury, to prevent a condition from 122 worsening, and to allow the animal to leave the shelter in 123 reasonable condition. 124 (b) An animal shelter shall work with a licensed 125 veterinarian to develop and follow a care protocol for animals 126 with special needs including, but not limited to, nursing 127 mothers, unweaned animals, sick or injured animals, extremely 128 frightened animals, geriatric animals, or animals needing 129 therapeutic exercise. The care protocol shall specify any 130 deviation from the standard requirements of paragraph (a) and 131 the reasons for the deviation. 132 (5)(a) At least 2 business days before euthanizing an 133 animal, the animal shelter having care or custody of the animal 134 shall: 135 1. Notify or make a reasonable attempt to notify by 136 verifiable written or electronic communication any rescue 137 organization that has previously requested to be notified before 138 animals at the shelter are euthanized. 139 2. Unless there is evidence of neglect or animal cruelty as 140 certified in writing by a licensed veterinarian, notify or make 141 a reasonable attempt to notify by telephone or verifiable 142 written or electronic communication the owner who surrendered 143 the animal and inform that person that the animal is scheduled 144 to be euthanized. 145 3. Notify or make a reasonable attempt to notify by 146 telephone or verifiable written or electronic communication the 147 finder who surrendered the stray animal and inform that person 148 that the animal is scheduled to be euthanized. 149 4. Offer those notified under this paragraph possession of 150 the animal if requested. 151 (b) An animal shelter may not euthanize an animal without 152 making the notification required under this subsection. 153 (6)(a) An animal shelter may not: 154 1. Prohibit or obstruct the adoption or transfer of an 155 animal based on breed, breed mix, species, age, color, 156 appearance, or size. 157 2. Euthanize an animal solely because the animal’s holding 158 period has expired. 159 (b) Before an animal is euthanized, all of the following 160 conditions must be met: 161 1. There are no empty cages, kennels, or other living 162 environments in the animal shelter. 163 2. The animal cannot share a cage or kennel with another 164 animal. 165 3. A plea has been made to foster homes, and one is not 166 available. 167 4. The owner, finder, and a rescue organization or group 168 have been notified and are not willing to accept the animal. 169 5. The animal cannot be transferred to another shelter with 170 room to house the animal. 171 6. There are no additional rooms at the animal shelter to 172 set up temporary cages, kennels, or living environments in the 173 shelter. 174 7. The animal is not a cat subject to sterilization and 175 release. 176 8. All mandates, programs, and services of this section 177 have been met. 178 9. The director of the animal shelter certifies that he or 179 she has no other alternative. 180 (c) The determination that all conditions of paragraph (b) 181 have been met shall be made in writing, signed by the director 182 of the animal shelter, and made available for free public 183 inspection for not fewer than 3 years. 184 (7)(a) An animal impounded by an animal shelter shall be 185 euthanized only when necessary and consistent with the 186 requirements of this section by lethal intravenous injection of 187 sodium pentobarbital, except as follows: 188 1. Intraperitoneal injection may be used only under the 189 direction of a licensed veterinarian and only when intravenous 190 injection is not possible for an infant animal, for a companion 191 animal other than a cat or dog, or for a comatose animal with 192 depressed vascular function. 193 2. Intracardiac injection may be used only when intravenous 194 injection is not possible for an animal that is completely 195 unconscious or comatose, and then only by a licensed 196 veterinarian. 197 (b) The room in which an animal is euthanized must: 198 1. Be cleaned and regularly disinfected as necessary, but 199 at least once per day on days the room is used, except that the 200 specific area in the room where the procedure is performed shall 201 be cleaned and disinfected between each procedure. 202 2. Have adequate ventilation that prevents the accumulation 203 of odors. 204 (c) An animal may not be allowed to witness any other 205 animal being euthanized or being tranquilized or sedated for the 206 purpose of being euthanized or allowed to see the bodies of 207 animals that have already been euthanized. 208 (d) An animal must be sedated or tranquilized before being 209 euthanized as necessary to minimize stress or discomfort or, in 210 the case of a vicious animal, to ensure staff safety, except 211 that neuromuscular blocking agents may not be used. 212 (e) Following euthanization, an animal must be lowered to 213 the surface on which it is being held and may not be allowed to 214 drop or otherwise collapse without support. 215 (f) An animal may not be left unattended until death 216 occurs. 217 (g) The body of an animal may not be disposed of until 218 death is verified. 219 (8) Verification of death shall be confirmed for each 220 animal when all of the following conditions exist: 221 (a) Lack of heartbeat, verified by a stethoscope. 222 (b) Lack of respiration, verified by observation. 223 (c) Pale, bluish gums and tongue, verified by observation. 224 (d) Lack of eye response, verified by the eyelid not 225 blinking when the eye is touched and by the pupil remaining 226 dilated when a light is shined on it. 227 (9) A person other than a licensed veterinarian or a 228 euthanasia technician certified by the state euthanasia 229 certification program may not perform the procedures referenced 230 in subsections (7) and (8). 231 (10) A person may compel an animal shelter to comply with 232 this section through an action for declaratory or injunctive 233 relief or any other appropriate remedy of law that will compel 234 compliance. 235 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.