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.
   10  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.