Florida Senate - 2017                                    SB 1162
       By Senator Rader
       29-00922-17                                           20171162__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Companion Animal Protection
    3         Act; providing definitions; directing animal shelters
    4         to take certain measures relating to the holding,
    5         care, treatment, and euthanasia of animals; providing
    6         exceptions; providing for declaratory or injunctive
    7         relief actions; providing an effective date.
    9  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   11         Section 1. Companion Animal Protection Act.—
   12         (1)As used in this section, the term:
   13         (a)“Animal shelter” means a public or private facility
   14  that:
   15         1.Has a physical structure that provides temporary or
   16  permanent shelter for stray, abandoned, abused, or owner
   17  surrendered animals.
   18         2.Is operated, owned, or maintained by a society for the
   19  prevention of cruelty to animals, humane society, pound, animal
   20  control officer, government entity, or contractor for a
   21  government entity.
   22         (b)“Irremediable physical suffering” means a poor or grave
   23  prognosis for being able to live without severe, unremitting
   24  pain, even with comprehensive, prompt, and necessary veterinary
   25  care, as certified in writing by a licensed veterinarian.
   26         (c)“Licensed veterinarian” means a person licensed to
   27  practice veterinary medicine in this state.
   28         (d)“Rescue organization” means an animal rescue
   29  organization, animal adoption organization, or organization
   30  formed for the prevention of cruelty to animals that is
   31  described in s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and
   32  exempt from taxation under s. 501(a) of the Internal Revenue
   33  Code.
   34         (2)(a)An animal shelter shall:
   35         1.Ensure that all animals are checked as soon as possible
   36  after impoundment, but no later than 1 business day, for all
   37  currently available methods of identification, including
   38  microchips, identification tags, and licenses.
   39         2.Maintain continuously updated lists of animals reported
   40  lost and found and check animals in the shelter for matches to
   41  these lists at least once daily.
   42         3.Post a photograph of and information regarding each
   43  stray animal impounded by the shelter on the Internet with
   44  sufficient detail to allow the animal to be recognized and
   45  claimed by its owner.
   46         (b)If a possible owner is identified, the animal shelter
   47  shall undertake due diligence to notify the owner or caretaker
   48  of the whereabouts of the animal and any procedures available
   49  for the lawful recovery of the animal. These efforts shall
   50  include, but are not limited to, notifying the possible owner by
   51  telephone, mail, and personal service to the last known address.
   52         (3)(a)An animal may not be euthanized at an animal shelter
   53  sooner than 5 business days after the date of impoundment.
   54         (b)An animal impounded as a stray with identification or
   55  whose owner has been identified shall be held and made available
   56  for owner reclamation for 4 business days after the date of
   57  impoundment.
   58         (c)An animal impounded as a stray without identification
   59  and whose owner has not been identified shall be made available
   60  for owner reclamation for 3 business days after the date of
   61  impoundment.
   62         (d)At any time, an animal impounded as a stray may be
   63  placed in foster care or transferred to an animal rescue
   64  organization or other shelter, subject to the following:
   65         1.An animal transferred under this subsection remains
   66  subject to reclamation by its owner pursuant to paragraphs (b)
   67  and (c).
   68         2.Documentation of an animal transferred under this
   69  paragraph, including a photograph of the animal and relevant
   70  information pertaining to impoundment and transfer of the
   71  animal, shall be maintained in physical or electronic form for
   72  public review at the animal shelter that originally impounded
   73  the animal or on the shelter’s website for the duration of
   74  impoundment under paragraphs (b) and (c).
   75         3.An owner that satisfies an animal shelter’s requirements
   76  for reclamation is entitled to reclaim the animal even if the
   77  animal has been transferred and is no longer physically in the
   78  animal shelter’s custody. At the owner’s discretion, the owner
   79  has the right to physically redeem the animal at the animal
   80  shelter that originally impounded the animal.
   81         (e)An animal that is impounded or surrendered by its owner
   82  may be reclaimed upon his or her change of heart for 2 business
   83  days after the date of impoundment if the animal has not been
   84  adopted or transferred.
   85         (f)This subsection does not apply to:
   86         1.An animal impounded for purposes of sterilization.
   87         2.An animal suspected of carrying and exhibiting signs of
   88  rabies, as determined by a licensed veterinarian.
   89         3.A dog that, after physically attacking a person, has
   90  been determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be
   91  dangerous pursuant to state law.
   92         4.An animal experiencing irremediable physical suffering.
   93         (g)At any time after impoundment, an animal shelter may
   94  transfer an animal, except an animal arriving with
   95  identification or an animal with a known owner, to a nonprofit
   96  rescue organization or group, a private shelter, or an
   97  organization formed for the prevention of cruelty to animals if
   98  potential owners are given the same rights of reclamation given
   99  to owners of animals held at the animal shelter.
  100         (4)(a)During the entirety of its stay at an animal
  101  shelter, an animal shall be provided:
  102         1.Fresh food and fresh water.
  103         2.Environmental enrichment to promote psychological well
  104  being, including, but not limited to, socialization, toys, and
  105  treats, and exercise as needed but at least once daily, except
  106  that a dog exhibiting vicious behavior towards people or has
  107  been determined to be dangerous by a court of competent
  108  jurisdiction is not required to be exercised during the holding
  109  period.
  110         3.Prompt and necessary cleaning of its cage, kennel, or
  111  other living environment at least two times per day to prevent
  112  disease and to ensure an environment that is welcoming to the
  113  public and hygienic for both the public and the animal. The
  114  cleaning shall be conducted in accordance with a protocol
  115  developed in coordination with a licensed veterinarian and shall
  116  require that the animal not be exposed to water from hoses or
  117  sprays, cleaning solutions, detergents, solvents, or chemicals.
  118         4.Prompt and necessary veterinary care, including, but not
  119  limited to, preventive vaccinations, cage rest, fluid therapy,
  120  and pain management or antibiotics sufficient to alleviate any
  121  pain caused by disease or injury, to prevent a condition from
  122  worsening, and to allow the animal to leave the shelter in
  123  reasonable condition.
  124         (b)An animal shelter shall work with a licensed
  125  veterinarian to develop and follow a care protocol for animals
  126  with special needs including, but not limited to, nursing
  127  mothers, unweaned animals, sick or injured animals, extremely
  128  frightened animals, geriatric animals, or animals needing
  129  therapeutic exercise. The care protocol shall specify any
  130  deviation from the standard requirements of paragraph (a) and
  131  the reasons for the deviation.
  132         (5)(a)At least 2 business days before euthanizing an
  133  animal, the animal shelter having care or custody of the animal
  134  shall:
  135         1.Notify or make a reasonable attempt to notify by
  136  verifiable written or electronic communication any rescue
  137  organization that has previously requested to be notified before
  138  animals at the shelter are euthanized.
  139         2.Unless there is evidence of neglect or animal cruelty as
  140  certified in writing by a licensed veterinarian, notify or make
  141  a reasonable attempt to notify by telephone or verifiable
  142  written or electronic communication the owner who surrendered
  143  the animal and inform that person that the animal is scheduled
  144  to be euthanized.
  145         3.Notify or make a reasonable attempt to notify by
  146  telephone or verifiable written or electronic communication the
  147  finder who surrendered the stray animal and inform that person
  148  that the animal is scheduled to be euthanized.
  149         4.Offer those notified under this paragraph possession of
  150  the animal if requested.
  151         (b)An animal shelter may not euthanize an animal without
  152  making the notification required under this subsection.
  153         (6)(a)An animal shelter may not:
  154         1.Prohibit or obstruct the adoption or transfer of an
  155  animal based on breed, breed mix, species, age, color,
  156  appearance, or size.
  157         2.Euthanize an animal solely because the animal’s holding
  158  period has expired.
  159         (b)Before an animal is euthanized, all of the following
  160  conditions must be met:
  161         1.There are no empty cages, kennels, or other living
  162  environments in the animal shelter.
  163         2.The animal cannot share a cage or kennel with another
  164  animal.
  165         3.A plea has been made to foster homes, and one is not
  166  available.
  167         4.The owner, finder, and a rescue organization or group
  168  have been notified and are not willing to accept the animal.
  169         5.The animal cannot be transferred to another shelter with
  170  room to house the animal.
  171         6.There are no additional rooms at the animal shelter to
  172  set up temporary cages, kennels, or living environments in the
  173  shelter.
  174         7.The animal is not a cat subject to sterilization and
  175  release.
  176         8.All mandates, programs, and services of this section
  177  have been met.
  178         9.The director of the animal shelter certifies that he or
  179  she has no other alternative.
  180         (c)The determination that all conditions of paragraph (b)
  181  have been met shall be made in writing, signed by the director
  182  of the animal shelter, and made available for free public
  183  inspection for not fewer than 3 years.
  184         (7)(a)An animal impounded by an animal shelter shall be
  185  euthanized only when necessary and consistent with the
  186  requirements of this section by lethal intravenous injection of
  187  sodium pentobarbital, except as follows:
  188         1.Intraperitoneal injection may be used only under the
  189  direction of a licensed veterinarian and only when intravenous
  190  injection is not possible for an infant animal, for a companion
  191  animal other than a cat or dog, or for a comatose animal with
  192  depressed vascular function.
  193         2.Intracardiac injection may be used only when intravenous
  194  injection is not possible for an animal that is completely
  195  unconscious or comatose, and then only by a licensed
  196  veterinarian.
  197         (b)The room in which an animal is euthanized must:
  198         1.Be cleaned and regularly disinfected as necessary, but
  199  at least once per day on days the room is used, except that the
  200  specific area in the room where the procedure is performed shall
  201  be cleaned and disinfected between each procedure.
  202         2.Have adequate ventilation that prevents the accumulation
  203  of odors.
  204         (c)An animal may not be allowed to witness any other
  205  animal being euthanized or being tranquilized or sedated for the
  206  purpose of being euthanized or allowed to see the bodies of
  207  animals that have already been euthanized.
  208         (d)An animal must be sedated or tranquilized before being
  209  euthanized as necessary to minimize stress or discomfort or, in
  210  the case of a vicious animal, to ensure staff safety, except
  211  that neuromuscular blocking agents may not be used.
  212         (e)Following euthanization, an animal must be lowered to
  213  the surface on which it is being held and may not be allowed to
  214  drop or otherwise collapse without support.
  215         (f)An animal may not be left unattended until death
  216  occurs.
  217         (g)The body of an animal may not be disposed of until
  218  death is verified.
  219         (8)Verification of death shall be confirmed for each
  220  animal when all of the following conditions exist:
  221         (a)Lack of heartbeat, verified by a stethoscope.
  222         (b)Lack of respiration, verified by observation.
  223         (c)Pale, bluish gums and tongue, verified by observation.
  224         (d)Lack of eye response, verified by the eyelid not
  225  blinking when the eye is touched and by the pupil remaining
  226  dilated when a light is shined on it.
  227         (9)A person other than a licensed veterinarian or a
  228  euthanasia technician certified by the state euthanasia
  229  certification program may not perform the procedures referenced
  230  in subsections (7) and (8).
  231         (10)A person may compel an animal shelter to comply with
  232  this section through an action for declaratory or injunctive
  233  relief or any other appropriate remedy of law that will compel
  234  compliance.
  235         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.