Florida Senate - 2013                                     SB 504
       By Senator Brandes
       22-00627D-13                                           2013504__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to animal cruelty; amending s. 828.12,
    3         F.S.; specifying that a person who commits multiple
    4         acts of animal cruelty against one animal or acts of
    5         animal cruelty against multiple animals may be charged
    6         with a separate offense for each such act of animal
    7         cruelty; amending s. 828.122, F.S.; specifying certain
    8         equipment and paraphernalia that are illegal to own,
    9         possess, or sell for use in animal fighting or
   10         baiting; providing criminal penalties; providing
   11         factors that may be used in determining whether an
   12         object is animal-fighting or animal-baiting
   13         paraphernalia; amending s. 895.02, F.S.; including
   14         illegal animal fighting or baiting as an offense
   15         within the definition of the term “racketeering
   16         activity” for purposes of the Florida RICO (Racketeer
   17         Influenced and Corrupt Organization) Act; providing an
   18         effective date.
   20  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   22         Section 1. Section 828.12, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   23  read:
   24         828.12 Cruelty to animals.—
   25         (1) A person who unnecessarily overloads, overdrives,
   26  torments, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, or
   27  unnecessarily mutilates, or kills any animal, or causes the same
   28  to be done, or carries in or upon any vehicle, or otherwise, any
   29  animal in a cruel or inhumane manner, commits animal cruelty, is
   30  guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as
   31  provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or
   32  both.
   33         (2) A person who intentionally commits an act to any animal
   34  which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated
   35  infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering, or causes the same
   36  to be done, commits aggravated animal cruelty, is guilty of a
   37  felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082
   38  or by a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
   39         (a) A person convicted of a violation of this subsection,
   40  where the finder of fact determines that the violation includes
   41  the knowing and intentional torture or torment of an animal that
   42  injures, mutilates, or kills the animal, shall be ordered to pay
   43  a minimum mandatory fine of $2,500 and undergo psychological
   44  counseling or complete an anger management treatment program.
   45         (b) A Any person convicted of a second or subsequent
   46  violation of this subsection shall be required to pay a minimum
   47  mandatory fine of $5,000 and serve a minimum mandatory period of
   48  incarceration of 6 months. In addition, the person shall be
   49  released only upon expiration of sentence, is shall not be
   50  eligible for parole, control release, or any form of early
   51  release, and must serve 100 percent of the court-imposed
   52  sentence. Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a
   53  conviction for purposes of this subsection.
   54         (3) A person who commits multiple acts of animal cruelty or
   55  aggravated animal cruelty against an animal may be charged with
   56  a separate offense for each such act. A person who commits
   57  animal cruelty or aggravated animal cruelty against more than
   58  one animal may be charged with a separate offense for each
   59  animal such cruelty was committed upon.
   60         (4)(3) A veterinarian licensed to practice in the state
   61  shall be held harmless from either criminal or civil liability
   62  for any decisions made or services rendered under the provisions
   63  of this section. Such a veterinarian is, therefore, under this
   64  subsection, immune from a lawsuit for his or her part in an
   65  investigation of cruelty to animals.
   66         (5)(4) A person who intentionally trips, fells, ropes, or
   67  lassos the legs of a horse by any means for the purpose of
   68  entertainment or sport shall be guilty of a third degree felony,
   69  punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
   70  As used in this subsection, “trip” means any act that consists
   71  of the use of any wire, pole, stick, rope, or other apparatus to
   72  cause a horse to fall or lose its balance, and “horse” means any
   73  animal of any registered breed of the genus Equus, or any
   74  recognized hybrid thereof. The provisions of this subsection
   75  shall not apply when tripping is used:
   76         (a) To control a horse that is posing an immediate threat
   77  to other livestock or human beings;
   78         (b) For the purpose of identifying ownership of the horse
   79  when its ownership is unknown; or
   80         (c) For the purpose of administering veterinary care to the
   81  horse.
   82         Section 2. Subsection (3) of section 828.122, Florida
   83  Statutes, is amended, present subsections (4) through (10) of
   84  that section are renumbered as subsections (5) through (11),
   85  respectively, and a new subsection (4) is added to that section,
   86  to read:
   87         828.122 Fighting or baiting animals; offenses; penalties.—
   88         (3) A Any person who knowingly commits any of the following
   89  acts commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as
   90  provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084:
   91         (a) Baiting, breeding, training, transporting, selling,
   92  owning, possessing, or using any wild or domestic animal for the
   93  purpose of animal fighting or baiting;
   94         (b) Owning, possessing, or selling equipment or
   95  paraphernalia for use in any activity described in paragraph
   96  (a), including, but not limited to:
   97         1. A pen, pit, ring, or enclosure.
   98         2. A gaff, sparring glove, muff, blade, slasher, or other
   99  implement designed to be attached to a bird in the location of
  100  its natural spurs.
  101         3. A betting slip, a document or record relating to a
  102  fight, training and fighting literature, or a fight trophy or
  103  award.
  104         4. A cat mill, slat mill, treadmill, jenny, rape stand,
  105  spring pole, flirt pole, break stick, supplement, drug, or scale
  106  when found in combination with or in proximity to any other item
  107  listed in subparagraphs 1.-3.;
  108         (c) Owning, leasing, managing, operating, or having control
  109  of any property kept or used for any activity described in
  110  paragraph (a) or paragraph (b);
  111         (d) Promoting, staging, advertising, or charging any
  112  admission fee to a fight or baiting between two or more animals;
  113         (e) Performing any service or act to facilitate animal
  114  fighting or baiting, including, but not limited to, providing
  115  security, refereeing, or handling or transporting animals or
  116  being a stakeholder of any money wagered on animal fighting or
  117  baiting;
  118         (f) Removing or facilitating the removal of any animal
  119  impounded under this section from an agency where the animal is
  120  impounded or from a location designated by the court under
  121  subsection (4), subsection (5), subsection (6), or subsection
  122  (8)(7), without the prior authorization of the court;
  123         (g) Betting or wagering any money or other valuable
  124  consideration on the fighting or baiting of animals; or
  125         (h) Attending the fighting or baiting of animals.
  127  Notwithstanding any provision of this subsection to the
  128  contrary, possession of the animal alone does not constitute a
  129  violation of this section.
  130         (4) In determining whether an object is animal-fighting or
  131  -baiting paraphernalia, a court or other authority or a jury
  132  shall consider, in addition to all other logically relevant
  133  factors, the following:
  134         (a) Statements by the owner or by anyone in control of the
  135  object concerning its use.
  136         (b) The proximity of the object, in time and space, to a
  137  violation of subsection (3).
  138         (c) The proximity of the object to an animal fight.
  139         (d) The existence of any blood on the object.
  140         (e) Direct or circumstantial evidence of the intent of the
  141  owner, or of anyone in control of the object, to deliver the
  142  object to a person who he or she knows, or should reasonably
  143  know, intends to use the object to facilitate a violation of
  144  this section.
  145         (f) Instructions, oral or written, provided with the object
  146  concerning its use.
  147         (g) Descriptive materials accompanying the object which
  148  explain or depict its use.
  149         (h) Any advertising concerning the object’s use.
  150         (i) The manner in which the object is displayed for sale.
  151         (j) The existence and scope of legitimate uses for the
  152  object in the community.
  153         (k) Expert testimony concerning the object’s use.
  155  A conviction for a violation of paragraph (3)(a) is not required
  156  in order for a court or other authority or a jury to find that
  157  the object is intended for use, or designed for use, as animal
  158  fighting or -baiting paraphernalia.
  159         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
  160  895.02, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  161         895.02 Definitions.—As used in ss. 895.01-895.08, the term:
  162         (1) “Racketeering activity” means to commit, to attempt to
  163  commit, to conspire to commit, or to solicit, coerce, or
  164  intimidate another person to commit:
  165         (a) Any crime that is chargeable by petition, indictment,
  166  or information under the following provisions of the Florida
  167  Statutes:
  168         1. Section 210.18, relating to evasion of payment of
  169  cigarette taxes.
  170         2. Section 316.1935, relating to fleeing or attempting to
  171  elude a law enforcement officer and aggravated fleeing or
  172  eluding.
  173         3. Section 403.727(3)(b), relating to environmental
  174  control.
  175         4. Section 409.920 or s. 409.9201, relating to Medicaid
  176  fraud.
  177         5. Section 414.39, relating to public assistance fraud.
  178         6. Section 440.105 or s. 440.106, relating to workers’
  179  compensation.
  180         7. Section 443.071(4), relating to creation of a fictitious
  181  employer scheme to commit reemployment assistance fraud.
  182         8. Section 465.0161, relating to distribution of medicinal
  183  drugs without a permit as an Internet pharmacy.
  184         9. Section 499.0051, relating to crimes involving
  185  contraband and adulterated drugs.
  186         10. Part IV of chapter 501, relating to telemarketing.
  187         11. Chapter 517, relating to sale of securities and
  188  investor protection.
  189         12. Section 550.235 or s. 550.3551, relating to dogracing
  190  and horseracing.
  191         13. Chapter 550, relating to jai alai frontons.
  192         14. Section 551.109, relating to slot machine gaming.
  193         15. Chapter 552, relating to the manufacture, distribution,
  194  and use of explosives.
  195         16. Chapter 560, relating to money transmitters, if the
  196  violation is punishable as a felony.
  197         17. Chapter 562, relating to beverage law enforcement.
  198         18. Section 624.401, relating to transacting insurance
  199  without a certificate of authority, s. 624.437(4)(c)1., relating
  200  to operating an unauthorized multiple-employer welfare
  201  arrangement, or s. 626.902(1)(b), relating to representing or
  202  aiding an unauthorized insurer.
  203         19. Section 655.50, relating to reports of currency
  204  transactions, when such violation is punishable as a felony.
  205         20. Chapter 687, relating to interest and usurious
  206  practices.
  207         21. Section 721.08, s. 721.09, or s. 721.13, relating to
  208  real estate timeshare plans.
  209         22. Section 775.13(5)(b), relating to registration of
  210  persons found to have committed any offense for the purpose of
  211  benefiting, promoting, or furthering the interests of a criminal
  212  gang.
  213         23. Section 777.03, relating to commission of crimes by
  214  accessories after the fact.
  215         24. Chapter 782, relating to homicide.
  216         25. Chapter 784, relating to assault and battery.
  217         26. Chapter 787, relating to kidnapping or human
  218  trafficking.
  219         27. Chapter 790, relating to weapons and firearms.
  220         28. Chapter 794, relating to sexual battery, but only if
  221  such crime was committed with the intent to benefit, promote, or
  222  further the interests of a criminal gang, or for the purpose of
  223  increasing a criminal gang member’s own standing or position
  224  within a criminal gang.
  225         29. Section 796.03, s. 796.035, s. 796.04, s. 796.05, or s.
  226  796.07, relating to prostitution and sex trafficking.
  227         30. Chapter 806, relating to arson and criminal mischief.
  228         31. Chapter 810, relating to burglary and trespass.
  229         32. Chapter 812, relating to theft, robbery, and related
  230  crimes.
  231         33. Chapter 815, relating to computer-related crimes.
  232         34. Chapter 817, relating to fraudulent practices, false
  233  pretenses, fraud generally, and credit card crimes.
  234         35. Chapter 825, relating to abuse, neglect, or
  235  exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult.
  236         36. Section 827.071, relating to commercial sexual
  237  exploitation of children.
  238         37. Section 828.122, relating to fighting or baiting
  239  animals.
  240         38.37. Chapter 831, relating to forgery and counterfeiting.
  241         39.38. Chapter 832, relating to issuance of worthless
  242  checks and drafts.
  243         40.39. Section 836.05, relating to extortion.
  244         41.40. Chapter 837, relating to perjury.
  245         42.41. Chapter 838, relating to bribery and misuse of
  246  public office.
  247         43.42. Chapter 843, relating to obstruction of justice.
  248         44.43. Section 847.011, s. 847.012, s. 847.013, s. 847.06,
  249  or s. 847.07, relating to obscene literature and profanity.
  250         45.44. Section 849.09, s. 849.14, s. 849.15, s. 849.23, or
  251  s. 849.25, relating to gambling.
  252         46.45. Chapter 874, relating to criminal gangs.
  253         47.46. Chapter 893, relating to drug abuse prevention and
  254  control.
  255         48.47. Chapter 896, relating to offenses related to
  256  financial transactions.
  257         49.48. Sections 914.22 and 914.23, relating to tampering
  258  with or harassing a witness, victim, or informant, and
  259  retaliation against a witness, victim, or informant.
  260         50.49. Sections 918.12 and 918.13, relating to tampering
  261  with jurors and evidence.
  262         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013.