Animal Chaplain May 2024

Do you ever get the feeling that Florida lags behind other states in a lot of important categories?  Here’s one rating we can definitely celebrate.  In terms of strong legal protections for animals, the Animal Legal Defense Fund ranks Florida seventh in the nation.

ALDF notes a number of Florida statutes that it considered in awarding the Sunshine State seventh place.  For example, Florida judges entering protective orders in domestic violence cases are permitted to include protections for companion animals.  Child protection investigators who learn of animal abuse during a child abuse investigation are required to report both; and vice versa.

Cruelty to animals is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail.  Aggravated animal cruelty (intentionally causing cruel death or repeated suffering) is a felony.  Fighting animals is a felony.  So is attending or wagering on an animal fight.

If an animal is in danger of harm because of confinement in a hot vehicle, any person who rescues the animal is immune from civil liability, as long as they did no more damage than was reasonably necessary to rescue the animal.

Oregon ranked first in the nation for strong animal protection laws.  North Dakota ranked last.  Here’s hoping Florida legislators will aim to topple Oregon next year!