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Animal Abusers Can No Longer Own Pets In Florida

Guest Dwight C

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Guest Dwight C

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New Florida Law Prevents Animal Abusers From Owning Pets

The state of Florida lessens it's tolerance toward people who hurt animals. On Oct. 1, 2018 a law goes into effect that is cracking down on them. 

State Law 1576, named Ponce's law, will create harsher punishments for people convicted of animal cruelty. The law is named after a 9 month old lab, Ponce, who was beaten to death.
Renita Boyett, a pet owner, says hurting animals sreveals something about a person's character. "For somebody that's cruel- to do something like that to an animal in society, surely they would do something to a child or someone that could not defend themselves."

The legislation increases the severity ranking for "aggravated animal cruelty" from a level 3 to a level 5.
Which makes it easier for judges to send offenders to jail. The law also allows judges to bar people convicted of animal cruelty from owning pets or ever having contact with animals again.

Ponce's law also requires animal shelters that take in large amounts of stray animals, for example after a natural disaster, to follow the same policies and procedures so every effort is made to return animals back to their owners quickly. Shelters now have to give public notice of lost or stray animals within 48 hours. 

That way animal lovers like Boyett can more quickly be reunited with their furry friends. She also explains how especially in hard times her dogs are important to her family. "My husband has pancreatic cancer right now and the animals help him so much."

You can read the full text of Ponce's Law a.k.a State Bill 1576 on the Florida Senate website at the link below. 


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