Florida Senate - 2021 CS for SB 650 By the Committee on Agriculture; and Senators Taddeo, Book, Rouson, Polsky, Cruz, Jones, Farmer, and Stewart 575-02381-21 2021650c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to tethering of domestic dogs and 3 cats; creating s. 828.132, F.S.; defining the term 4 “tether”; providing requirements for tethering 5 domestic dogs and cats; providing applicability; 6 providing penalties; authorizing enforcement of the 7 act in accordance with specified provisions; providing 8 construction; providing an effective date. 9 10 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 11 12 Section 1. Section 828.132, Florida Statutes, is created to 13 read: 14 828.132 Tethering of domestic dogs and cats.— 15 (1) As used in this section, the term “tether” means to tie 16 a domestic dog or domestic cat to a stationary or inanimate 17 object with a rope, chain, or other means to restrict, confine, 18 or restrain its movement. 19 (2)(a) A person may not tether a domestic dog or domestic 20 cat unless the person is physically present with and attending 21 to the dog or cat and the dog or cat remains visible to the 22 person at all times while tethered. 23 (b) A person may not tether a domestic dog or domestic cat 24 outdoors during severe weather, including, but not limited to, 25 extreme heat or cold, thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes, 26 tropical storms, or hurricanes. 27 (3) This act does not apply to hunting dogs. 28 (4) Paragraph (2)(a) does not apply to tethering a domestic 29 dog or domestic cat in a manner that does not jeopardize its 30 health, safety, or well-being when: 31 (a) Attending, or participating in, a legal, organized 32 public event in which the dog or cat and the person are 33 permitted attendees or participants; 34 (b) Actively engaging in conduct that is directly related 35 to the business of shepherding or herding cattle or livestock or 36 related to the business of cultivating agricultural products and 37 tethering is reasonably necessary for its safety; 38 (c) Being treated by a veterinarian or serviced by a 39 groomer; 40 (d) Being trained for or actively serving in a law 41 enforcement capacity; 42 (e) Being cared for as part of a rescue operation during a 43 natural or manmade disaster; 44 (f) Temporarily tethered by any of the following entities 45 for a period of time which is no longer than necessary to 46 accomplish a task such as bathing, medical care, or any other 47 short-term valid purpose for the safety of the animal, other 48 animals, staff, or the public: 49 1. A public or private animal shelter. 50 2. A humane organization. 51 3. An animal control agency operated by a humane 52 organization; by a county, municipality, or other incorporated 53 political subdivision; or by a licensed commercial boarding 54 facility; 55 (g) Temporarily tethered while being kept in a bona fide 56 humane shelter or at a licensed commercial boarding facility; or 57 (h) Tethered in accordance with the regulations of a 58 camping or recreational area. 59 (5) A person who tethers a domestic dog or domestic cat in 60 violation of this section commits a noncriminal violation as 61 defined in s. 775.08(3) and is subject to the following 62 penalties: 63 (a) For a first offense, a written warning and notice to 64 comply. 65 (b) For a second offense, a fine of $250. 66 (c) For a third and every subsequent offense, a fine of 67 $500. 68 (6) This section may be enforced pursuant to s. 828.073. 69 (7) This section may not be construed to limit the 70 authority of any local governmental entity to adopt or enforce 71 an ordinance that is more restrictive or that imposes greater 72 penalties than this section. 73 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.