Florida Senate - 2020 SB 1278 By Senator Rader 29-01465-20 20201278__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Companion Animal Public-Private 3 Partnership Act; providing legislative findings; 4 defining terms; prohibiting animal shelters from 5 euthanizing animals under certain conditions; 6 requiring animal shelters to release animals to rescue 7 organizations under certain conditions; providing 8 exceptions; providing an effective date. 9 10 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 11 12 Section 1. Companion Animal Public-Private Partnership 13 Act.— 14 (1) The Legislature finds that public-private partnerships 15 between local government shelters, private shelters, and 16 nonprofit organizations provide millions of dollars in cost 17 savings to local governments in other states which have 18 implemented such partnerships and that such partnerships reduce 19 the costs associated with holding and euthanizing animals to 20 taxpayers by transferring such costs from public agencies to 21 private organizations, generate revenue for local governments 22 through adoption fees, and reduce the number of animals 23 euthanized. 24 (2) As used in this section, the term: 25 (a) “Animal shelter” means a public or private facility 26 that: 27 1. Has a physical structure that provides temporary or 28 permanent shelter for stray, abandoned, abused, or owner 29 surrendered animals. 30 2. Is operated, owned, or maintained by a society for the 31 prevention of cruelty to animals, a humane society, a pound, an 32 animal control officer, a governmental entity, or a contractor 33 for a governmental entity. 34 (b) “Irremediable suffering” means a poor or grave 35 prognosis for being able to live without severe, unremitting 36 physical pain, even with comprehensive, prompt, and necessary 37 veterinary care, as certified in writing by a licensed 38 veterinarian. 39 (c) “Licensed veterinarian” means a person licensed to 40 practice veterinary medicine in this state. 41 (d) “Rescue organization” means an animal rescue 42 organization, animal adoption organization, or organization 43 formed for the prevention of cruelty to animals which is 44 described in s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and 45 exempt from taxation under s. 501(a) of the Internal Revenue 46 Code. 47 (3) An animal shelter may not euthanize an animal if a 48 rescue organization has indicated it will take custody of the 49 animal. The animal shelter shall release the animal to the 50 rescue organization. 51 (4) This section does not apply to: 52 (a) An animal suspected of carrying and exhibiting signs of 53 rabies, as determined by a licensed veterinarian. 54 (b) A dog classified as dangerous pursuant to s. 767.12, 55 Florida Statutes. 56 (c) An animal experiencing irremediable suffering. 57 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.