February 19, 2024
Please share this information with Florida dog owners.
The Florida Senate Committee on Agriculture is scheduled to consider Senate Bill 1156, which would expand the state’s dangerous dog law, on Tuesday, January 23, 2024. Residents are urged to contact committee members and politely ask them to not advance Senate Bill 1156 as introduced, and to work with knowledgeable animal advocacy organizations and stakeholders on positive amendments to the bill.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) supports the intent of SB 1156. However, the bill is unclear regarding whether strict enclosure requirements for a dangerous dog could be interpreted to also apply to other dogs. AKC recommends that the bill be amended for purposes of clarity.
The bill also seeks to strike exemptions in existing law for police K9s; hunting dogs; and dogs engaged in training for or being exhibited in legal sports such as obedience trials, conformation shows, field trials, hunting/retrieving trials, and herding trials. AKC recommends that these exemptions should remain in law. There are many reasons why these exemptions are provided, for example:
- If a dog competing in a herding trial accidentally injures a domesticated duck, that dog should not be declared dangerous under SB 1156; and as a result, be neutered, confined in accordance with the same strict requirements for a dog that severely injured or killed a human, and subject the dog’s owner to significant requirements and penalties.
- If an off-duty police officer and police K9 apprehend an accused criminal, the police K9 should not be declared dangerous under SB 1156 and subjected to conditions that would remove it from service.
AKC has offered to work with the office of the bill sponsor on clarifying and positive amendments. AKC does not oppose the establishment of a dangerous dog registry as provided in SB 1156.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Contact committee members and respectfully ask them to not advance SB 1156 as introduced, and to work with knowledgeable animal advocates on amendments to the bill that will ensure it is clear, fair, and enforceable. You can leave phone and voice messages over the weekend.
Click on each committee member’s name, then click on “Email this Senator” to open an online message form. You can also view each Senator’s Tallahassee Office phone number on the linked webpages.
Florida Senate Committee on Agriculture
Senator Jay Collins, Chair
Senator Jim Boyd, Vice Chair
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For additional information, please contact AKC Government Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-816-3720.