Reps. Dan Daley and Rene Plasencia are pushing a bipartisan bill in the House aiming to discipline veterinarians and other animal treatment providers who don’t report suspected signs of animal abuse.
Sen. Jason Pizzo, a Miami Democrat, has already filed a companion measure in the Senate (SB 216). Daley, a Coral Springs Democrat, and Plasencia, an Orlando Republican, will shepherd the House version (HB 47).
The bill doesn’t aim to criminalize the failure to report abuse. Instead, it opens up veterinarians, vet technicians and other animal treatment providers to professional penalties. Those who don’t report signs of abuse can be directed to remedial education, forced to pay a fine or even face suspension or loss of their license.
Daley joined Longwood Republican Scott Plakon last Session to push a similar measure. The legislation is named “Allie’s Law,” after a Boston terrier from Orlando that survived abuse.
“I am honored to work on this bipartisan legislation again this year in Tallahassee,” Daley said.
“Dave Heine rescued Allie and has been the driving force behind this legislation. Sadly, Dave passed away earlier this year, and in his memory and in Allie’s name, I intend on working to stop the abuse of innocent animals.”
Pizzo also joined the push last Session to require vets to file reports with law enforcement or animal control officers. Pizzo’s bill moved through two committees before dying in the Rules Committee. Daley’s House was withdrawn before getting a hearing.
A separate House bill (HB 49) would shield any filed reports from public records requests. After filing a similar measure in the Senate, Pizzo told Florida Politics that measure is aimed at protecting vets and animal treatment providers from retaliation from a pet owner or other party after notifying officials of potential abuse.
The legislation is set to kick in July 1, 2021 if approved.