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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/SB 1576 — Animal Welfare

by Community Affairs Committee; Agriculture Committee; and Senators Steube and Perry

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Agriculture Committee (AG)

The bill requires animal shelters that take in stray dogs and cats to adopt written policies and procedures to ensure that every reasonable effort is made to quickly and reliably return the animals to their owners.  It allows a court to prohibit a person convicted of animal cruelty from owning, possessing, keeping, harboring, having contact with, or having custody or control over any animal. It leaves the time frame for the prohibition within the court’s discretion.  The bill also increases the severity ranking for aggravated animal cruelty from a level three to a level five on the offense severity ranking chart of the Criminal Punishment Code.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect October 1, 2018.

Vote: Senate 38-0; House 108-0