Florida bill seeks to make it harder for shelters to euthanize animals

No-kill shelters sending out a strong warning
Posted at 6:25 PM, Feb 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-25 15:39:35-05
An estimated 3 million animals are euthanized in shelters, every year. The subject is the cause of much debate and can even be seen as taboo. Now, a Florida Senate Bill seeks to make it harder to do.
“Yeah no one wants to do that," said Scott Daly. He runs a no-kill animal shelter in St. Petersburg,but he’s worked for full shelters in the past.
"It’s not something we want to have to do but unfortunately sometimes it has to happen," he said.
He tells ABC Action News animals are put down because they’re sick, aggressive, suffering from an injury and most of all due to overcrowding.
“To have so many animals coming in; if you have 85 dogs show up in one day and you only have 200 kennels, what do you do?” he asked.
A newly filed SB 1162 almost five pages of numerous steps a shelter must take before they can euthanize a single animal.
These steps include contacting rescue groups and sending a plea to pet foster homes. If there’s no space, they’ll have to set up temporary cages.
Finally if there’s no other option, the director of the shelter must document their attempts and sign off for each pet, while also keeping the document as public record for three years.
But making it harder for shelters to euthanize could have unexpected consequences that could even make your family sick.
“To go ahead and be limited to what they can do, they would have to shut their doors and unfortunately have to turn people away and animals have to be released into the community," said Daly
He says this could mean the spread of diseases.
“You would have animals that would defecate all over the neighborhood and not be cleaned up after properly like an owner would.” He adds, more strays increases chances for an animal attack.
We also reached out to other organizations, such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. In a surprising move, PETA sided with critics. PETA Animal Care and Control Specialist Teresa Chagrin issued the following statement:
If passed, this bill would surely destroy animal sheltering in the state of Florida. Many shelters would no doubt hoard animals, like the hundreds of examples that we list at Self-professed "rescues"—in which animals often suffer in crowded, filthy, and cruel conditions—account for one-quarter of the approximately 6,000 hoarding cases reported annually in the U.S.
Similar legislation in Delaware left lost and abandoned animals with nowhere to go, as overwhelmed and underfunded shelters were forced to close. This legislation would definitely hurt animals. It's up to each and every one of us to help solve this crisis by always adopting, never buying from pet stores or breeders, and having our animals spayed or neutered.
To see the bill in its entirety, click here.