1/11/24 Update: Yesterday, Florida SB 660 unanimously passed the Senate Agriculture Committee and has been further referred to the Senate Community Affairs Committee. AKC Government Relations will provide additional information on contacting that committee in a future alert.
Florida Senate Bill 660, which seeks to exempt from public records requirements the identifying information about persons who foster, adopt, or receive legal custody of animals from certain shelters, is scheduled to be considered by the Florida Senate Committee on Agriculture tomorrow, Wednesday, January 10, 2024, at 8:30am. The American Kennel Club (AKC) encourages all Florida animal owners to contact the Senate Agriculture Committee and request it not advance SB 660.
This bill, which failed in prior years, is purportedly based on isolated incidents in which a person whose ownership of a pet had been terminated later contacted the pet’s new owner. However, SB 660 is overly broad in that seeks to conceal identifying information of all persons (including individuals, foster care providers, businesses, and other sheltering organizations) to whom the legal custody of an animal is transferred. Additionally, AKC is concerned that SB 660 could actually conceal the chain of ownership and transfer histories of animals with diseases or parasitic conditions, or that are noted with bite histories or behavioral issues, all of which potentially threaten public and animal health.
Instead of overriding the state’s public policy of open government, AKC recommends increased enforcement of Florida’s existing comprehensive stalking and harassment laws in the event there is an additional case of a person who adopted a pet being subjected to harassment by the pet’s former owner.
TAKE ACTION TODAY
Residents who share these concerns and who believe Florida animal shelters should continue to be subject to public and taxpayer oversight are urged to contact committee members and ask them to not advance SB 660. Click on each committee members 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.
For additional information, please contact AKC Government Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-816-3720.