Thanks to the quick response by Florida Sportsmen’s Alliance members, a bill intended to protect pets was amended to remove language that would have potentially harmed sporting dogs. Senate Bill 522, introduced by Sen. Joe Gruters less than a week ago, would have made it a first-degree misdemeanor to leave a dog outside and unattended in temperatures below 32 degrees, even if the animal is in a kennel and has access to shelter. The bill would have made it impossible for sportsmen to properly acclimate their animals to weather conditions they would encounter in the field.
Violators could have served up to one year in jail, a $5,000 fine or both. After hearing from our Florida members, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee removed the language and approved the amended bill by a 5-0 vote. The amended version of SB 522 still contains the same punishment and fine, but only applies to a person who leaves a dog outside and unattended by use of a restraint during a natural disaster, such as a tornado or hurricane.
“We’re appreciative that Senator Gruters responded to the concerns of sportsmen,” said Bruce Tague vice president of government affairs for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “It’s clear his intent was to protect dogs, and he was willing to work with Florida hunters to get this right.”
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.