Florida Senate - 2016                                    SB 1108
       By Senator Margolis
       35-01193-16                                           20161108__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to companion animals; providing a
    3         short title; creating s. 828.066, F.S.; providing
    4         definitions; directing animal shelters to take certain
    5         measures relating to the holding, care, treatment, and
    6         euthanasia of animals; providing exceptions; providing
    7         for injunctive relief actions; providing an effective
    8         date.
   10  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   12         Section 1. This act may be cited as the “Companion Animal
   13  Protection Act.”
   14         Section 2. Section 828.066, Florida Statutes, is created to
   15  read:
   16         828.066 Animal shelters; stray and impounded animals.—
   17         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   18         (a) “Animal shelter” means a public or private facility
   19  that:
   20         1. Has a physical structure that provides temporary or
   21  permanent shelter for stray, abandoned, abused, or owner
   22  surrendered animals.
   23         2. Is operated, owned, or maintained by a society for the
   24  prevention of cruelty to animals, humane society, pound, animal
   25  control officer, governmental entity, or contractor for a
   26  governmental entity.
   27         (b) “Irremediable physical suffering” means a poor or grave
   28  prognosis for being able to live without severe, unremitting
   29  pain, even with comprehensive, prompt, and necessary veterinary
   30  care, as certified in writing by a licensed veterinarian.
   31         (c) “Licensed veterinarian” means a person licensed to
   32  practice veterinary medicine in this state.
   33         (d) “Rescue organization” means an animal rescue
   34  organization, animal adoption organization, or organization
   35  formed for the prevention of cruelty to animals which is
   36  described in s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and
   37  exempt from taxation under s. 501(a) of the Internal Revenue
   38  Code.
   39         (2)(a) An animal shelter shall:
   40         1. Take appropriate action to ensure that all animals are
   41  checked as soon as possible after impoundment for all currently
   42  available methods of identification, including microchips,
   43  identification tags, and licenses.
   44         2. Maintain continuously updated lists of animals reported
   45  lost and found and regularly check animals in the shelter for
   46  matches to these lists.
   47         3. Post a photograph of and information regarding each
   48  stray animal impounded by the shelter on the Internet with
   49  sufficient detail to allow the animal to be recognized and
   50  claimed by its owner.
   51         (b) If a possible owner is identified, the animal shelter
   52  shall undertake due diligence to notify the owner or caretaker
   53  of the whereabouts of the animal and any procedures available
   54  for the lawful recovery of the animal. These efforts shall
   55  include, but are not limited to, notifying the possible owner by
   56  telephone, mail, and personal service to the last known address.
   57         (3)(a) The required holding period for a stray animal
   58  impounded by an animal shelter shall be 5 business days, not
   59  including the day of impoundment. An animal shall be held for
   60  owner redemption during the first 2 days of the holding period
   61  and shall be available for owner redemption, transfer, or
   62  adoption for the remainder of the holding period, except that if
   63  an animal is impounded with identification or the shelter knows
   64  the identity of the owner, the animal shall be held for 5 days
   65  for owner redemption.
   66         (b) The required holding period for an owner-relinquished
   67  animal impounded by an animal shelter shall be the same as that
   68  for a stray animal, except that an owner-relinquished animal
   69  shall be available for owner redemption, transfer, or adoption
   70  for the entirety of the holding period.
   71         (c) This subsection does not apply to:
   72         1. A cat impounded for purposes of sterilization and then
   73  released.
   74         2. An animal suspected of carrying and exhibiting signs of
   75  rabies, as determined by a licensed veterinarian.
   76         3. A dog that, after physically attacking a person, has
   77  been determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be
   78  dangerous pursuant to state law.
   79         4. An animal experiencing irremediable physical suffering.
   80         (d) At any time after impound, an animal shelter may
   81  transfer an animal, except an animal arriving with
   82  identification or an animal with a known owner, to a nonprofit
   83  rescue organization or group, a private shelter, or an
   84  organization formed for the prevention of cruelty to animals if
   85  potential owners are given the same rights of reclamation given
   86  to owners of animals held at the animal shelter.
   87         (4)(a) During the entirety of its stay at an animal
   88  shelter, an animal must be provided:
   89         1. Fresh food and fresh water.
   90         2. Environmental enrichment to promote psychological well
   91  being, such as socialization, toys, and treats, and exercise as
   92  needed but at least once daily, except that a dog exhibiting
   93  vicious behavior toward people or determined to be dangerous by
   94  a court of competent jurisdiction is not required to be
   95  exercised during the holding period.
   96         3. Prompt and necessary cleaning of its cage, kennel, or
   97  other living environment at least two times per day to prevent
   98  disease and to ensure an environment that is welcoming to the
   99  public and hygienic for both the public and the animal. The
  100  cleaning must be conducted in accordance with a protocol
  101  developed in coordination with a licensed veterinarian and must
  102  require that the animal be temporarily removed from its cage,
  103  kennel, or other living environment during the process of
  104  cleaning to prevent the animal from being exposed to water from
  105  hoses or sprays, cleaning solutions, detergents, solvents, or
  106  chemicals.
  107         4. Prompt and necessary veterinary care, including, but not
  108  limited to, preventative vaccinations, cage rest, fluid therapy,
  109  and pain management or antibiotics sufficient to alleviate any
  110  pain caused by disease or injury, to prevent a condition from
  111  worsening, and to allow the animal to leave the shelter in
  112  reasonable condition.
  113         (b) An animal shelter shall work with a licensed
  114  veterinarian to develop and follow a care protocol for animals
  115  with special needs such as, but not limited to, nursing mothers,
  116  unweaned animals, sick or injured animals, extremely frightened
  117  animals, geriatric animals, or animals needing therapeutic
  118  exercise. This care protocol must specify any deviation from the
  119  standard requirements of paragraph (a) and the reasons for the
  120  deviation.
  121         (5)(a) At least 2 business days before the euthanasia of an
  122  animal, the animal shelter having care or custody of the animal
  123  must:
  124         1. Notify or make a reasonable attempt to notify by
  125  verifiable written or electronic communication any rescue
  126  organization that has previously requested to be notified before
  127  animals at the shelter are euthanized.
  128         2. Offer each rescue organization notified under
  129  subparagraph 1. the opportunity to take possession of the animal
  130  to avoid the animal’s death.
  131         (b) An animal shelter may not euthanize an animal without
  132  making the notification required under this subsection.
  133         (6)(a) An animal shelter may not:
  134         1. Ban, bar, limit, or otherwise obstruct the adoption or
  135  transfer of an animal based on breed, breed mix, species, age,
  136  color, appearance, or size.
  137         2. Euthanize an animal solely because the animal’s holding
  138  period has expired.
  139         (b) Before an animal is euthanized, all of the following
  140  conditions must be met:
  141         1. There are no empty cages, kennels, or other living
  142  environments in the animal shelter.
  143         2. The animal cannot share a cage or kennel with another
  144  animal.
  145         3. A foster home for the animal is not available.
  146         4. A rescue organization or group is not willing to accept
  147  the animal.
  148         5. The animal cannot be transferred to another shelter with
  149  room to house the animal.
  150         6. The animal is not a cat subject to sterilization and
  151  release.
  152         7. All mandates, programs, and services of this section
  153  have been met.
  154         8. The director of the animal shelter certifies that he or
  155  she has no other alternative.
  156         (c) The determination that all conditions of paragraph (b)
  157  have been met must be made in writing, signed by the director of
  158  the animal shelter, and made available for free public
  159  inspection for not fewer than 3 years.
  160         (7)(a) An animal impounded by an animal shelter may be
  161  euthanized only when necessary and consistent with the
  162  requirements of s. 828.058.
  163         (b) An animal may not be allowed to witness any other
  164  animal being euthanized or being tranquilized or sedated for the
  165  purpose of being euthanized, or to see the bodies of animals
  166  that have already been euthanized.
  167         (8) The state attorney, or persons aggrieved by violations
  168  of this section, may bring action to enjoin violations of this
  169  section. In any successful action to enforce this section, the
  170  court shall award the prevailing party, other than the state,
  171  reasonable costs and attorney fees.
  172         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.