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On Monday, March 27, 2023, the Florida House Civil Justice Subcommittee is scheduled to consider a new “Lawyers for Animals” bill, House Bill 989. It is similar to bills promoted in previous legislative sessions by animal rights activists as part of efforts to alter the legal status of animals and provide them human rights, including individual legal representation.

HB 989 seeks to authorize a court to appoint a separate animal advocate in certain court proceedings. Providing third-party advocates in a legal proceeding is generally reserved to protect the interests of minor children or other people lacking legal capacity. The Florida judiciary system already fairly adjudicates cases of animal offenses and animal custody disputes without jeopardizing the legal status of animals and without authorizing outside interests to attempt to influence the outcome of cases.


Florida residents are urged to contact subcommittee members, respectfully express your concerns, and ask them to VOTE NO on House Bill 989.  Because this bill is scheduled to be heard at 8:00am on Monday, take a moment to send emails or leave voice mail messages over the weekend.  It is sufficient to politely state, “My name is ________, I am a Florida resident, and I ask you to VOTE NO on House Bill 989. Thank you.”

Rep. William Robinson, Chair,, (850)717-5071

Rep. John Snyder, Vice Chair,, (850)717-5086

Rep. Kristen Arrington,, (850)717-5046

Rep. Mike Beltran,, (850)717-5070

Rep. Dean Black ,, (850)717-5015

Rep. Daryl Campbell,, (850)717-5099

Rep. Kimberly Daniels,, (850)717-5014

Rep. Ashley Gantt,, (850)717-5109

Rep. Johanna Lopez,, (850)717-5043

Rep. Randall Maggard,, (850)717-5054

Rep. Thomas Maney,, (850)717-5004

Rep. Fiona McFarland,, (850)717-5073

Rep. Kiyan Michael,, (850)717-5016

Rep. Tobin Overdorf,,  (850)717-5085

Rep. Alejandro Rizo,, (850)717-5112

Rep. Rick Roth,, (850)717-5094

Rep. Tyler Sirois ,, (850)717-5031

Rep. David Smith,, (850)717-5038

Talking Points and Resources

Informational Flyer: Laws That Provide Court- Appointed Animal Advocates Could Undermine Animal Welfare

Key Issue Page: Legal Status of Animals

For additional information, please contact AKC Government Relations at