As a lifelong animal lover, I’ve always said that there is a special place in Hell for people who abuse or neglect animals. Now, at long last, it looks like there may be a special place for them in jail, too.
A proposed US Senate bill would make it illegal for people to abandon their dogs during natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes. These events are an all-too-common occurrence in our country, which has a great deal of natural disasters every year.
Natural disasters are a clear danger to human life, and usually require some kind of evacuation program. Sadly, almost every time, domestic animals such as dogs and cats are left behind to fend for themselves, as the owners rush to safety.
Up to this point, abandoning your pets in such circumstances has not been punishable by law. However, should this proposed Florida animal welfare measure become legislation, pet owners would be punished for abandoning their pets, even during extreme weather.
As reported by ABC News, Senate Bill 1738 would prohibit people from leaving a dog tied up and unattended outdoors during both man-made and natural disasters. Natural disasters include hurricanes, tropical storms or tornado warnings.
Rescued six dogs in Leland, NC, after the owner LEFT THEM locked in an outdoor cage that filled with flood water that was rapidly rising.
— Marcus DiPaola (@marcusdipaola) September 16, 2018
The bill defines ‘man-made’ as a situation in which someone has received ‘notice from a local or government authority that an event attributed in part or entirely to human intent, error, or negligence, or involving the failure of a man-made system’ is either happening or will happen, the Miami Herald reports.
Filed by Florida lawmaker Joe Gruters, chairman of the Florida Republican Party. The bill would authorize vets to report suspected violations without notifying the owner beforehand. However, it would only be able to be used in situations where a warning had been issued by the National Weather Service or an evacuation order had been issued by local officials.