Whenever there is a natural disaster in the US, we come across stories of pets being left alone by their owners. However, such acts will be considered illegal now be considered illegal in Florida, a state that often gets hit by cyclones and hurricanes.
The new Senate Bill will make it illegal for any pet owner to abandon their pets during disasters. If the National Weather Service has issued an evacuation notice to residents then that law would kick into effect.
The bill was introduced by Florida lawmaker Joe Gruters, which states that perpetrators could be fined up to $5,000 or serve a year behind bars.
“We want to give these dogs a fighting chance,” Gruters said this week.
A couple of years ago the state was hit by Hurricance Irma, which caused serious damage. Later the emergency services counted nearly 50 dogs which had been abandoned. The animals were found outdoors and were trying to find safety or tied to poles.
Animal Care and control noted that there were 40 cats and dogs handed in before Irma made landfall. Making this decision is a tough one, but under Florida law, it’s one that can’t be reversed once the storm is over.
Finding new homes for their abandoned animals is also an incredibly difficult task.
In a statement, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said: “Moving that many animals is no easy task – each animal is examined by a veterinarian, behavior checks are performed, and since the animals are being transported out of state, health certificates are completed.
“Our relocation teams will identify shelters across the country that are in the position to help find these animals homes, and our teams will start moving them to their new destinations just as quickly as we possibly can.”