Animal Protection Bills Fail to Become Law in Florida’s 2012 Legislative Session

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The Dexter’s Law Animal Abuser Registry, Horatio’s Law Domestic Violence Against Family Pets protection bill, and the Animal Rescue Act all failed to become law as time ran out today with the Florida legislative session for 2012 coming to a close.

It has been apparent for the past few weeks that the three forward thinking and lifesaving pieces of legislation would not become law this year.

The Animal Rescue Act, already facing significant opposition from the state’s Animal Control association and others, suffered a last minute attack by PETA, which used the Caboodle Ranch seizure to smear rescuers as hoarders, as it did its part to help kill the bill. The Act would have regulated both rescuers and shelters, and would have mandated that shelters give rescues a chance to save animals before they are put to death to make room for others.

Stata Senator Mike Fasano introduced and championed both the Dexter’s Law Animal Abuser Registry bill and the Horatio’s Law Domestic Violence Against Family Pets protection bill. Despite efforts by the Senator’s office, local advocates, and supporters from across the nation, the bills were not able to find support in the House.

The last several days have been a death watch as it became clear that House support needed to send the bills to the Governor was not to be found.

Senator Fasano will not be in place to re-introduce his bills next session; he will leave the Senate due to term limits. His Chief Legislative Assistant, Gregory Giordano, says he will provide support for any Senator who picks up the standard for animal protection next year and reintroduces the much needed legislation.

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