Friday, April 5th 2019, 4:36 pm - The bill is expected to go into effect this summer.
Florida residents who abandon their pets while evacuating during a natural disaster are now subject to fines upwards of $5,000 USD, animal cruelty charges and possible jail time.
When Hurricane Irma hit Florida in 2017, animal services recovered dozens of living and deceased of pets that were found tied up and alone.
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Leaving pets behind can place rescue teams in dangerous situations to recover animals while diverting resources from other urgent rescue missions.
Pet owners are being advised to make arrangements for their pets ahead of time. That includes researching places that will accommodate animals or temporarily care for animals during a disaster.
The proposed bill is currently under review and is expected to go into effect on July 1, 2019.