For many people, pets are both beloved companions and dear family members. When a 9-month-old Labrador Retriever puppy named Ponce was beaten to death one year ago, over 80,000 Floridians came together in protest to sign a petition demanding change. In response, Rep. Tom Leek (R-Ormond Beach) introduced State Law 1576, or “Ponce’s Law,” which is an amendment to the state’s current animal cruelty laws. Under Ponce’s Law, many new policies and procedures are being implemented to benefit animals across The Sunshine State.
The following changes are being enacted under Ponce’s Law:
- Judges can prevent people convicted of animal cruelty from owning pets
- Judges can prevent people convicted of animal cruelty from having contact with animals
- An animal-abuse related crime is now a Level 5 offense, which is worth 28 points
- A convicted animal abuser is more likely to receive a jail sentence
- Animal shelters are required to take in more stray animals
- After a natural disaster, animals shelters have to make every reasonable effort to return pets to their owners
- Animal shelters have 48 hours to give public notice of any lost or stray pets
Kate MacFall, the Florida Director of the Humane Society of the United States, is hopeful that Ponce’s law is an important first step in defending animal rights. This law can protect animals and hopefully prevent convicted abusers from adopting new pets in the future.
Seek Legal Representation
Contact the Deland criminal defense attorneys at Buckmaster & Ellzey if you have any questions about Ponce’s Law or require legal representation. Our seasoned litigators can investigate your case and represent your interests in court. If you feel like your future is in jeopardy, it’s important to explore your legal options with a reputable legal team before your rights are compromised.
Contact Buckmaster & Ellzey at (888) 785-6548 to schedule a consultation.