Wednesday, September 23, 2015

#DogsInPoliticsDay: Proposed Legislation Could Make it Legal to Save Dogs from Hot Cars in Florida

FINALLY - a story out of Florida that does not include some drunken man and his shotgun texting the police and riding an alligator down I-75 to confront his ex (and second cousin) because she stole his last beer.  In honor of #DogsInPoliticsDay, I wanted to discuss a pending law in Florida that could really benefit and save the lives of many dogs.  The Florida Senate is now reviewing the Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety Act (P.A.W.S. Act).  Ultimately, if approved, this bill could become a law that "permits individuals to use reasonable force to remove animals under certain circumstances." Fla. SB 200 (2015).  

I know what you're thinking - that the law is super vague and what constitutes reasonable force and why would you ever have to use reasonable force to remove Foofy from your neighbor's shaded patio.  Well, you are partially right - "rescuing Foofy" is not really the circumstance that this bill is aimed it.  This bill is aimed at rescuing dogs from unattended vehicles.  SAVING DOGS FROM HOT CARS!  This is wonderful news - no dog should ever have to suffer and die trapped in a car that has been baking in the Florida sun.

Here is a GREAT info-graphic from the ASPCA.
While this tragedy happens nationwide (and worldwide), it is a particularly common headline in Florida given the extreme heat that our state experiences during the summer (and let's not kid ourselves, spring, fall, and winter, too).  Most recently was the incident where a K-9 Officer left his two K-9s in his unattended vehicle at his home and the dogs died.  THE K-9 DOGS DIED.  How can someone have a profession as a K-9 officer and negligently kill their K-9 partners?  (I am pretty mad about this one).   Would these dogs be alive today if the P.A.W.S. act was in place?  Perhaps.  And here's why.

Under the P.A.W.S. Act, leaving a dog in an unattended vehicle would be a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida, punishable by one year in jail and a $1,000.00 fine.  I am pretty sure a "police officer" (and I use that term lightly) would think twice about leaving his partners in a hot car if he could go to jail for doing so.  I am pretty sure EVERYONE (well, not everyone - we are still in Florida, folks) will think twice before leaving their dog for "just a minute" while they go shopping for two hours at the mall.  Just saying.

I think this bill marks a huge step in the right direction for animal rights and welfare in the State of Florida.  Those of us that have a voice need to continue to push for legislation like this in all states and countries to ensure that animals are granted a higher quality of life.  So, in honor of #DogsInPoliticsDay, put on your best bow-tie and GET INVOLVED.  (OK, bow-tie is not necessary, just fashionably awesome).  Become a dog in politics (or a dog loving human in politics).  Oh, and if you vote for me, FREE BACON FOR ALL!


  1. Oh Dausy this is such an important issue. Mom is so sick of finding dogs locked in hot cars. You should hear all the HBO words
    Lily & Edward

    1. Thank you so much for the visit! You are absolutely correct - this issue is so very important. I hope the bill passes!! PS - I love the "HBO words" - I might have to borrow that one!! xoxo

  2. very important. I cant count the times that I have called the cops on people. Rolo would never be left anywhere that isnt comfortable for him.

  3. I can't understand why some people still think it's okay to leave their dog in a car. I really hope this passes!

  4. I imagine you pretty much can't leave your dog in a car year-round in Florida... I've seen other bills specify "in hot weather" but that's all year for you guys right?

  5. Great article! I am so happy reading that Florida is trying to push this law through. It should be the law nationwide. People need to be aware there are consequences if they are going to risk their pets lives by leaving them in the car on a hot day where they can die. I was shocked when I saw the story on the news about the K-9 dogs that died when the police office left them in the hot car. I don't understand how the police office wasn't aware of how unsafe it is to leave pets in hot cars.

  6. Florida has a high paw from me. 1st they updated their state laws to be in the same level as the ADA laws for service animals AND they made it a punishable crime for impersonating a pet as a service dog. I sure hope this bill gets passed and it makes people think twice before leaving pets in the car