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The Florida Statutes

The 2010 Florida Statutes(including Special Session A)

Title XLVI
CRIMES
Chapter 828
ANIMALS: CRUELTY; SALES; ANIMAL ENTERPRISE PROTECTION
View Entire Chapter
CHAPTER 828
CHAPTER 828
ANIMALS: CRUELTY; SALES; ANIMAL ENTERPRISE PROTECTION
828.02 Definitions.
828.03 Agents of counties, societies, etc., may prosecute violators.
828.05 Killing an injured or diseased domestic animal.
828.055 Sodium pentobarbital; permits for use in euthanasia of domestic animals.
828.058 Euthanasia of dogs and cats.
828.065 Euthanasia of animals offered for sale by pet shops.
828.073 Animals found in distress; when agent may take charge; hearing; disposition; sale.
828.08 Penalty for exposing poison.
828.12 Cruelty to animals.
828.121 Conduct of simulated bullfighting exhibitions.
828.122 Fighting or baiting animals; offenses; penalties.
828.123 Killing dog or cat with intent of selling or giving away pelt; possession, sale, or importation of pelt with intent of selling or giving away; penalty.
828.1231 Sale of garments or items of clothing containing dog or cat fur prohibited; sale of pelt of any dog or cat prohibited; penalty.
828.125 Killing or aggravated abuse of horses or cattle; offenses; penalties.
828.13 Confinement of animals without sufficient food, water, or exercise; abandonment of animals.
828.14 Water and food for stock on trains, vessels, etc.
828.16 Contagious diseases.
828.161 Prohibiting artificial coloring and sale of certain animals and fowls; construction.
828.17 Officer to arrest without warrant.
828.22 Humane Slaughter Act; humane slaughter and livestock euthanasia; requirements.
828.23 Definitions; ss. 828.22-828.26.
828.24 Prohibited acts; exemption.
828.25 Administration; rules; inspection; fees.
828.251 Instruction.
828.252 Nonambulatory animals.
828.26 Penalties.
828.27 Local animal control or cruelty ordinances; penalty.
828.28 Local animal licensing ordinances; notices.
828.29 Dogs and cats transported or offered for sale; health requirements; consumer guarantee.
828.30 Rabies vaccination of dogs, cats, and ferrets.
828.40 Short title.
828.41 Definitions relating to Florida Animal Enterprise Protection Act.
828.42 Animal enterprise disruption; criminal penalties.
828.43 Injunction.
828.02 Definitions.In this chapter, and in every law of the state relating to or in any way affecting animals, the word “animal” shall be held to include every living dumb creature; the words “torture,” “torment,” and “cruelty” shall be held to include every act, omission, or neglect whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable pain or suffering is caused, except when done in the interest of medical science, permitted, or allowed to continue when there is reasonable remedy or relief; and the words “owner” and “person” shall be held to include corporations, and the knowledge and acts of agents and employees of corporations in regard to animals transported, owned, employed by or in the custody of a corporation, shall be held to be the knowledge and act of such corporation.
History.s. 10, ch. 4971, 1901; GS 3156; RGS 4982; CGL 7071; s. 2, ch. 86-179.
828.03 Agents of counties, societies, etc., may prosecute violators.
(1) Any county or any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, organized under the laws of this state, may appoint agents for the purpose of investigating violations of any of the provisions of this chapter or any other law of the state for the purpose of protecting children and animals or preventing any act of cruelty thereto.
(2) All appointments of such agents by such societies or corporations must have the approval of the mayor of the city in which the society or association exists, and if the society or association exists or works outside of any city, the appointment must be approved by the county court judge or the judge of the circuit court for the county, and the mayor or judge shall keep a record of such appointment. The approval of the appointment of any agent by a county for either the incorporated or unincorporated areas of such county shall be by the county commission.
History.s. 12, ch. 4971, 1901; GS 3158; RGS 4984; CGL 7073; s. 32, ch. 73-334; s. 1, ch. 75-223; s. 1, ch. 76-102; s. 1, ch. 77-174.
828.05 Killing an injured or diseased domestic animal.
(1) The purpose of this section is to provide a swift and merciful means whereby domestic animals which are suffering from an incurable or untreatable condition or are imminently near death from injury or disease may be destroyed without unconscionable delay and in a humane and proficient manner.
(2) As used in this section, the term “officer” means:
(a) Any law enforcement officer;
(b) Any veterinarian; and
(c) Any officer or agent of any municipal or county animal control unit or of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or the designee of such an officer or agent.
(3) Whenever any domestic animal is so injured or diseased as to appear useless and is suffering, and it reasonably appears to an officer that such animal is imminently near death or cannot be cured or rendered fit for service and the officer has made a reasonable and concerted, but unsuccessful, effort to locate the owner, the owner’s agent, or a veterinarian, then such officer, acting in good faith and upon reasonable belief, may immediately destroy such animal by shooting the animal or injecting it with a barbiturate drug. If the officer locates the owner or the owner’s agent, the officer shall notify him or her of the animal’s location and condition. If the officer locates only a veterinarian, the officer shall destroy the animal only upon the advice of the veterinarian. However, this section does not prohibit an owner from destroying his or her own domestic animal in a humane and proficient manner when the conditions described in this section exist.
(4) No officer or veterinarian acting in good faith and with due care pursuant to this section will be liable either criminally or civilly for such act, nor will any civil or criminal liability attach to the employer of the officer or veterinarian.
(5) A court order is not necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.
History.s. 2, ch. 4151, 1893; GS 3159; RGS 4985; CGL 7074; s. 1, ch. 80-188; s. 1, ch. 84-105; s. 5, ch. 93-13; s. 1284, ch. 97-102.
828.055 Sodium pentobarbital; permits for use in euthanasia of domestic animals.
(1) The Board of Pharmacy shall adopt rules providing for the issuance of permits authorizing the purchase, possession, and use of sodium pentobarbital and sodium pentobarbital with lidocaine by county or municipal animal control agencies or humane societies registered with the Secretary of State for the purpose of euthanizing injured, sick, or abandoned domestic animals which are in their lawful possession. The rules shall set forth guidelines for the proper storage and handling of sodium pentobarbital and sodium pentobarbital with lidocaine and such other provisions as may be necessary to ensure that the drugs are used solely for the purpose set forth in this section. The rules shall also provide for an application fee not to exceed $50 and a biennial renewal fee not to exceed $50.
(2) Any county or municipal animal control agency or any humane society registered with the Secretary of State may apply to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation for a permit to purchase, possess, and use sodium pentobarbital or sodium pentobarbital with lidocaine pursuant to subsection (1). Upon certification by the board that the applicant meets the qualifications set forth in the rules, the department shall issue the permit.
(3) The board may revoke or suspend the permit upon a determination that the permittee is using sodium pentobarbital or sodium pentobarbital with lidocaine for any purpose other than that set forth in this section or if the permittee fails to follow the rules of the board regarding proper storage and handling.
History.s. 1, ch. 79-346; s. 35, ch. 82-225; s. 1, ch. 87-398; s. 249, ch. 94-218.
Note.Former s. 500.1518.
828.058 Euthanasia of dogs and cats.
(1) Sodium pentobarbital, a sodium pentobarbital derivative, or other agent the Board of Veterinary Medicine may approve by rule shall be the only methods used for euthanasia of dogs and cats by public or private agencies, animal shelters, or other facilities which are operated for the collection and care of stray, neglected, abandoned, or unwanted animals. A lethal solution shall be used in the following order of preference:
(a) Intravenous injection by hypodermic needle;
(b) Intraperitoneal injection by hypodermic needle;
(c) Intracardial injection by hypodermic needle; or
(d) Solution or powder added to food.
(2) A dog or cat may be tranquilized with an approved and humane substance before euthanasia is performed.
(3) Succinylcholine chloride, curare, curariform mixtures, any substance which acts as a neuromuscular blocking agent, or a chamber which causes a change in body oxygen may not be used on a dog or cat for any purpose. However, whenever an emergency situation exists which requires the immediate euthanasia of an injured, diseased, or dangerous animal, a law enforcement officer, a veterinarian, or an agent of a local animal control unit or the designee of such an agent may humanely destroy the animal, as provided in s. 828.05.
(4)(a) Euthanasia shall be performed only by a licensed veterinarian or an employee or agent of a public or private agency, animal shelter, or other facility that is operated for the collection and care of stray, neglected, abandoned, or unwanted animals, provided the employee or agent has successfully completed a 16-hour euthanasia technician certification course. The curriculum for such course must be approved by the Board of Veterinary Medicine and must include, at a minimum, the pharmacology, proper administration, and storage of euthanasia solutions; federal and state laws regulating the storage and accountability of euthanasia solutions; euthanasia technician stress management; and proper disposal of euthanized animals. An employee or agent performing euthanasia before October 1, 1993, must obtain certification by October 1, 1994. An employee or agent who begins performing euthanasia on or after October 1, 1993, must obtain certification before performing any euthanasia. However, a certified veterinarian technician who is an employee or agent as defined in the subsection, may perform euthanasia without completing the certification course required by this subsection. Euthanasia must be performed in a humane and proficient manner.
(b) No dog or cat may be left unattended between the time euthanasia procedures are first begun and the time death occurs, nor may its body be disposed of until death is confirmed by a qualified person.
(5) The state attorney may bring an action to enjoin any violation of this act.
(6) Any person who violates the provisions of this act is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.ss. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, ch. 84-105; s. 201, ch. 91-224; s. 6, ch. 93-13.
828.065 Euthanasia of animals offered for sale by pet shops.
(1)(a) A warm-blooded animal, except one held as food for another animal, offered for sale, or obtained for sale by a pet shop may be euthanized only by administering sodium pentobarbital, a sodium pentobarbital derivative, or a substance or procedure which acts on the central nervous system and is clinically proven to be humane.
(b) A lethal solution must be administered in the following order of preference:
1. By intravenous injection by hypodermic needle;
2. By intraperitoneal injection by hypodermic needle;
3. By intracardial injection by hypodermic needle; or
4. By solution or powder added to food.
(2) An animal may be tranquilized with an approved, humane substance before euthanasia is performed.
(3) Succinylcholine chloride, curare, a curariform mixture, a substance which acts as a neuromuscular blocking agent, or a chamber which causes a change in body oxygen, except a chamber which uses commercially bottled carbon monoxide gas, may not be used on a warm-blooded animal.
(4)(a) Euthanasia must be performed by a licensed veterinarian or layperson who is humane and proficient in the method used.
(b) An animal may not be left unattended between the time euthanasia procedures are commenced and the time death occurs, nor may its body be disposed of until death is confirmed by a qualified person.
(5) The state attorney may bring an action to enjoin a violation of this section.
(6) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 1, ch. 91-29.
828.073 Animals found in distress; when agent may take charge; hearing; disposition; sale.
(1) The purpose of this section is to provide a means by which a neglected or mistreated animal can be:
(a) Removed from its present custody, or
(b) Made the subject of an order to provide care, issued to its owner by the county court, any law enforcement officer, or any agent of the county or of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals appointed under s. 828.03,

and given protection and an appropriate and humane disposition made.

(2) Any law enforcement officer or any agent of any county or of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals appointed under the provisions of s. 828.03 may:
(a) Lawfully take custody of any animal found neglected or cruelly treated by removing the animal from its present location, or
(b) Order the owner of any animal found neglected or cruelly treated to provide certain care to the animal at the owner’s expense without removal of the animal from its present location,

and shall file a petition seeking relief under this section in the county court of the county in which the animal is found within 10 days after the animal is seized or an order to provide care is issued. The court shall schedule and commence a hearing on the petition within 30 days after the petition is filed to determine whether the owner, if known, is able to provide adequately for the animal and is fit to have custody of the animal. The hearing shall be concluded and the court order entered thereon within 60 days after the date the hearing is commenced. The timeframes set forth in this subsection are not jurisdictional. However, if a failure to meet such timeframes is attributable to the officer or agent, the owner is not required to pay the officer or agent for care of the animal during any period of delay caused by the officer or agent. A fee may not be charged for filing the petition. This subsection does not require court action for the taking into custody and making proper disposition of stray or abandoned animals as lawfully performed by animal control agents.

(3) The officer or agent of any county or of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals taking charge of any animal pursuant to the provisions of this section shall have written notice served, at least 3 days before the hearing scheduled under subsection (2), upon the owner of the animal, if he or she is known and is residing in the county where the animal was taken, in conformance with the provisions of chapter 48 relating to service of process. The sheriff of the county shall not charge a fee for service of such notice.
(4)(a) The officer or agent of any county or of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals taking charge of an animal as provided for in this section shall provide for the animal until either:
1. The owner is adjudged by the court to be able to provide adequately for, and have custody of, the animal, in which case the animal shall be returned to the owner upon payment by the owner for the care and provision for the animal while in the agent’s or officer’s custody; or
2. The animal is turned over to the officer or agent as provided in paragraph (c) and a humane disposition of the animal is made.
(b) If the court determines that the owner is able to provide adequately for, and have custody of, the animal, the order shall provide that the animal in the possession of the officer or agent be claimed and removed by the owner within 7 days after the date of the order.
(c) Upon the court’s judgment that the owner of the animal is unable or unfit to adequately provide for the animal:
1. The court may:
a. Order that the animal be sold by the sheriff at public auction, that the current owner have no further custody of the animal, and that any animal not bid upon be remanded to the custody of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane Society, the county, or any agency or person the judge deems appropriate, to be disposed of as the agency or person sees fit; or
b. Order that the animal be destroyed or remanded directly to the custody of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane Society, the county, or any agency or person the judge deems appropriate, to be disposed of as the agency or person sees fit.
2. The court, upon proof of costs incurred by the officer or agent, may require that the owner pay for the care of the animal while in the custody of the officer or agent. A separate hearing may be held.
3. The court may order that other animals that are in the custody of the owner and that were not seized by the officer or agent be turned over to the officer or agent, if the court determines that the owner is unable or unfit to adequately provide for the animals. The court may enjoin the owner’s further possession or custody of other animals.
(5) In determining the person’s fitness to have custody of an animal under the provisions of this act, the court may consider, among other matters:
(a) Testimony from the agent or officer who seized the animal and other witnesses as to the condition of the animal when seized and as to the conditions under which the animal was kept.
(b) Testimony and evidence as to the veterinary care provided to the animal.
(c) Testimony and evidence as to the type and amount of care provided to the animal.
(d) Expert testimony as to the community standards for proper and reasonable care of the same type of animal.
(e) Testimony from any witnesses as to prior treatment or condition of this or other animals in the same custody.
(f) The owner’s past record of judgments under the provisions of this chapter.
(g) Convictions under the statutes prohibiting cruelty to animals.
(h) Any other evidence the court considers to be material or relevant.
(6) If the evidence indicates a lack of proper and reasonable care of the animal, the burden is on the owner to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he or she is able and fit to have custody of and provide adequately for the animal.
(7) In any case in which an animal is offered for auction under the provisions of this section, the proceeds shall be:
(a) Applied, first, to the cost of the sale.
(b) Applied, secondly, to the care and provision for the animal by the officer or agent of any county or of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals taking charge.
(c) Applied, thirdly, to the payment of the owner for the sale of the animal.
(d) Paid over to the court if the owner is not known.
History.s. 2, ch. 75-223; s. 2, ch. 76-102; s. 1, ch. 78-12; s. 1, ch. 79-234; s. 1, ch. 87-389; s. 1, ch. 89-194; s. 1285, ch. 97-102; s. 4, ch. 2010-87.
828.08 Penalty for exposing poison.Whoever leaves or deposits any poison or any substance containing poison, in any common street, alley, lane, or thoroughfare of any kind, or in any yard or enclosure other than the yard or enclosure occupied or owned by such person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 8, ch. 4971, 1901; GS 3399; RGS 5248; CGL 7367; s. 945, ch. 71-136; s. 66, ch. 74-383; s. 1, ch. 75-24; s. 41, ch. 75-298.
828.12 Cruelty to animals.
(1) A person who unnecessarily overloads, overdrives, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, or unnecessarily mutilates, or kills any animal, or causes the same to be done, or carries in or upon any vehicle, or otherwise, any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.
(2) A person who intentionally commits an act to any animal which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering, or causes the same to be done, is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
(a) A person convicted of a violation of this subsection, where the finder of fact determines that the violation includes the knowing and intentional torture or torment of an animal that injures, mutilates, or kills the animal, shall be ordered to pay a minimum mandatory fine of $2,500 and undergo psychological counseling or complete an anger management treatment program.
(b) Any person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this subsection shall be required to pay a minimum mandatory fine of $5,000 and serve a minimum mandatory period of incarceration of 6 months. In addition, the person shall be released only upon expiration of sentence, shall not be eligible for parole, control release, or any form of early release, and must serve 100 percent of the court-imposed sentence. Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for purposes of this subsection.
(3) A veterinarian licensed to practice in the state shall be held harmless from either criminal or civil liability for any decisions made or services rendered under the provisions of this section. Such a veterinarian is, therefore, under this subsection, immune from a lawsuit for his or her part in an investigation of cruelty to animals.
(4) A person who intentionally trips, fells, ropes, or lassos the legs of a horse by any means for the purpose of entertainment or sport shall be guilty of a third degree felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. As used in this subsection, “trip” means any act that consists of the use of any wire, pole, stick, rope, or other apparatus to cause a horse to fall or lose its balance, and “horse” means any animal of any registered breed of the genus Equus, or any recognized hybrid thereof. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply when tripping is used:
(a) To control a horse that is posing an immediate threat to other livestock or human beings;
(b) For the purpose of identifying ownership of the horse when its ownership is unknown; or
(c) For the purpose of administering veterinary care to the horse.
History.s. 4, ch. 4971, 1901; GS 3395; RGS 5244; CGL 7363; s. 2, ch. 70-50; s. 4, ch. 71-12; s. 949, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 82-116; s. 2, ch. 89-194; s. 5, ch. 94-339; s. 1286, ch. 97-102; s. 26, ch. 99-391; s. 35, ch. 2000-308; s. 1, ch. 2002-51.
828.121 Conduct of simulated bullfighting exhibitions.It shall be unlawful, and punishable as a misdemeanor, for any person to conduct or engage in a simulated or bloodless bullfighting exhibition.
History.s. 3, ch. 71-12.
828.122 Fighting or baiting animals; offenses; penalties.
(1) This act may be cited as “The Animal Fighting Act.”
(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Animal fighting” means fighting between roosters or other birds or between dogs, bears, or other animals.
(b) “Baiting” means to attack with violence, to provoke, or to harass an animal with one or more animals for the purpose of training an animal for, or to cause an animal to engage in, fights with or among other animals. In addition, “baiting” means the use of live animals in the training of racing greyhounds.
(c) “Person” means every natural person, firm, copartnership, association, or corporation.
(3) Any person who knowingly commits any of the following acts commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084:
(a) Baiting, breeding, training, transporting, selling, owning, possessing, or using any wild or domestic animal for the purpose of animal fighting or baiting;
(b) Owning, possessing, or selling equipment for use in any activity described in paragraph (a);
(c) Owning, leasing, managing, operating, or having control of any property kept or used for any activity described in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b);
(d) Promoting, staging, advertising, or charging any admission fee to a fight or baiting between two or more animals;
(e) Performing any service or act to facilitate animal fighting or baiting, including, but not limited to, providing security, refereeing, or handling or transporting animals or being a stakeholder of any money wagered on animal fighting or baiting;
(f) Removing or facilitating the removal of any animal impounded under this section from an agency where the animal is impounded or from a location designated by the court under subsection (4), subsection (5), or subsection (7), without the prior authorization of the court;
(g) Betting or wagering any money or other valuable consideration on the fighting or baiting of animals; or
(h) Attending the fighting or baiting of animals.

Notwithstanding any provision of this subsection to the contrary, possession of the animal alone does not constitute a violation of this section.

(4) If a court finds probable cause to believe that a violation of this section or s. 828.12 has occurred, the court shall order the seizure of any animals and equipment used in committing the violation and shall provide for appropriate and humane care or disposition of the animals. This subsection is not a limitation on the power to seize animals as evidence at the time of arrest.
(5) If an animal shelter or other location is unavailable, a court may order the animal to be impounded on the property of its owner or possessor and shall order such person to provide all necessary care for the animal and to allow regular inspections of the animal by a person designated by the court.
(6) If a veterinarian finds that an animal kept or used in violation of this section is suffering from an injury or a disease severe enough that it is not possible to humanely house and care for the animal pending completion of a hearing held under s. 828.073(2), final disposition of the criminal charges, or court-ordered forfeiture, the veterinarian may euthanize the animal as specified in s. 828.058. A veterinarian licensed to practice in this state shall be held harmless from criminal or civil liability for any decisions made or services rendered under this subsection.
(7) If an animal can be housed in a humane manner, the provisions of s. 828.073 shall apply. For the purpose of a hearing provided pursuant to s. 828.073(2), any animal baited, bred, trained, transported, sold, owned, possessed, or used for the purpose of animal fighting or baiting shall be considered mistreated.
(8) In addition to other penalties prescribed by law, the court may issue an order prohibiting a person who is convicted of a violation of this section from owning, possessing, keeping, harboring, or having custody or control over any animals within the species that are the subject of the conviction, or any animals kept for the purpose of fighting or baiting, for a period of time determined by the court.
(9) This section shall not apply to:
(a) Any person simulating a fight for the purpose of using the simulated fight as part of a motion picture which will be used on television or in a motion picture, provided s. 828.12 is not violated.
(b) Any person using animals to pursue or take wildlife or to participate in any hunting regulated or subject to being regulated by the rules and regulations of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(c) Any person using animals to work livestock for agricultural purposes.
(d) Any person violating s. 828.121.
(e) Any person using dogs to hunt wild hogs or to retrieve domestic hogs pursuant to customary hunting or agricultural practices.
(10) This section shall not prohibit, impede, or otherwise interfere with recognized animal husbandry and training techniques or practices not otherwise specifically prohibited by law.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 76-59; s. 1, ch. 81-224; s. 2, ch. 82-116; s. 1, ch. 85-289; ss. 1, 3, ch. 86-179; s. 202, ch. 91-224; s. 7, ch. 93-13; s. 230, ch. 99-245; s. 2, ch. 2002-51; s. 1, ch. 2003-188.
828.123 Killing dog or cat with intent of selling or giving away pelt; possession, sale, or importation of pelt with intent of selling or giving away; penalty.
(1) A person who kills any dog or cat with the sole intent of selling or giving away the pelt of such animal commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by both imprisonment and a fine.
(2) A person who possesses, imports into this state, sells, buys, gives away, or accepts any pelt of a dog or cat with the sole intent of selling or giving away the pelt of the dog or cat commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of $5,000, or by both imprisonment and a fine.
(3) A person who possesses, imports into the state, sells, buys, gives away, or accepts any dog or cat with the sole intent of killing such dog or cat, or having such dog or cat killed, for the purpose of selling or giving away the pelt of such animal commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by both imprisonment and a fine.
(4) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly engage in the business of a dealer or buyer in the pelts or furs of any dog or cat in the state or to purchase such pelts or furs within the state. No common carrier shall knowingly ship or transport or receive for transportation any dog or cat pelts or furs within the state. Any person who violates this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.s. 1, ch. 2000-194.
828.1231 Sale of garments or items of clothing containing dog or cat fur prohibited; sale of pelt of any dog or cat prohibited; penalty.
(1) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly sell or offer for sale, directly or indirectly, at wholesale or at retail, in this state any garment, or any item of clothing or apparel that is made, in whole or in part, from the fur of any dog or cat, or which contains or to which is attached any dog or cat fur.
(2) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly sell or offer for sale, directly or indirectly, at wholesale or at retail, or to give away, in this state the pelt of any dog or cat.
(3) Any person who violates the provisions of this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Upon a second or subsequent conviction for a violation of this subsection, the offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(4) Any law enforcement agency, or humane officer as defined in s. 828.03, may institute proceedings in the appropriate circuit court to enforce compliance with the provisions of this section. Any law enforcement agency, or humane officer as defined in s. 828.03, may seek a civil penalty of up to $5,000 for each violation.
History.s. 2, ch. 2000-194; s. 25, ch. 2001-64.
828.125 Killing or aggravated abuse of horses or cattle; offenses; penalties.Any other provisions of this chapter to the contrary notwithstanding:
(1) Any person who willfully and unlawfully, by any means whatsoever, kills, maims, mutilates, or causes great bodily harm or permanent breeding disability to any animal of the genus Equus (horse) or any animal of any registered breed or recognized registered hybrid of the genus Bos (cattle) commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided by s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, except that any person who commits a violation of this subsection shall be sentenced to a minimum mandatory fine of $3,500 and a minimum mandatory period of incarceration of 1 year.
(2) Any person who individually attempts or solicits, or jointly agrees, conspires, combines, or confederates with another person to commit, any act prohibited by subsection (1) and does an act in furtherance of said attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree and is punishable as if the person or persons had actually committed such prohibited act as enumerated in subsection (1), notwithstanding any provisions found in s. 777.04. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit separate convictions and sentences for a violation of this subsection and any violation of subsection (1).
(3) Any person who verbally or in writing threatens to commit any act prohibited by subsection (1) and has the apparent ability to carry out such threat and places the owner or custodian of said animal in fear that such an act as described in subsection (1) is about to take place shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided by s. 775.082, s. 775.083 or s. 775.084.
(4) In addition to any other fines or penalties authorized by law, a person found guilty of violating any provision of subsection (1), subsection (2), or subsection (3) may be ordered by the court to make restitution to the aggrieved party in an amount not to exceed twice the gross fair market value of the said Equus or Bos killed or abused in an aggravated manner, or up to twice the gross loss caused, whichever is greater, plus attorney’s fees and any and all related costs. Upon notice the court shall hold a hearing to determine the amount of fines, restitution, or costs to be imposed under this section, if not agreed upon by the parties.
(5) This section shall not be construed to abridge, impede, prohibit, or otherwise interfere in any way with the application, implementation, or conduct of recognized livestock husbandry practices or techniques by or at the direction of the owner of the livestock so husbanded; nor shall any person be held culpable for any act prohibited by this chapter which results from weather conditions or other acts of God, providing that the person is in compliance with recognized livestock husbandry practices.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-14; s. 42, ch. 91-110; s. 28, ch. 99-391; s. 5, ch. 2010-87.
828.13 Confinement of animals without sufficient food, water, or exercise; abandonment of animals.
(1) As used in this section:
(a) “Abandon” means to forsake an animal entirely or to neglect or refuse to provide or perform the legal obligations for care and support of an animal by its owner.
(b) “Owner” includes any owner, custodian, or other person in charge of an animal.
(2) Whoever:
(a) Impounds or confines any animal in any place and fails to supply the animal during such confinement with a sufficient quantity of good and wholesome food and water,
(b) Keeps any animals in any enclosure without wholesome exercise and change of air, or
(c) Abandons to die any animal that is maimed, sick, infirm, or diseased,

is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both imprisonment and a fine.

(3) Any person who is the owner or possessor, or has charge or custody, of any animal who abandons such animal to suffer injury or malnutrition or abandons any animal in a street, road, or public place without providing for the care, sustenance, protection, and shelter of such animal is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both imprisonment and a fine.
History.ss. 2, 4, ch. 3921, 1889; RS 2510; GS 3396; RGS 5245; CGL 7364; s. 950, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 81-17; s. 3, ch. 82-116; s. 203, ch. 91-224.
828.14 Water and food for stock on trains, vessels, etc.
(1) No person or corporation, or agent of either, engaged in transporting livestock on railway trains or on steam or sailing vessels, or otherwise, shall detain such stock for a longer continuous period than 28 hours after the same are so placed without supplying the same with necessary food, water, and attention, or shall permit them to be crowded so as to overlie, crush, wound, or kill each other; and any person or agent as aforesaid violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, and any corporation violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.083.
(2) Nothing in this section shall apply to owners, officers, or crew of water craft detained on the navigable waters of this state by storms and prevented by bad weather from reaching port.
History.s. 6, ch. 4971, 1901; GS 3397; RGS 5246; CGL 7365; s. 951, ch. 71-136.
828.16 Contagious diseases.Whoever, being the owner, or having the charge of any animal, knowing the same to have any contagious or infectious disease, or to have been recently exposed thereto, sells, barters, or disposes of such animal without first disclosing to the person to whom the same is sold, bartered, or disposed of, that such animal is so diseased, or has been exposed, as aforesaid, or knowingly permits such animal to run at large, or knowing such animal to be diseased as aforesaid, knowingly allows the same to come into contact with any such animal of another person without his or her knowledge or permission, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 9, ch. 4971, 1901; GS 3400; RGS 5249; CGL 7368; s. 952, ch. 71-136; s. 1287, ch. 97-102.
828.161 Prohibiting artificial coloring and sale of certain animals and fowls; construction.
(1) It is unlawful for any person to dye or color artificially any animal or fowl, including but not limited to rabbits, baby chickens, and ducklings, or to bring any dyed or colored animal or fowl into this state.
(2) It is unlawful for any person to sell, offer for sale, or give away as merchandising premiums, baby chickens, ducklings, or other fowl under 4 weeks of age or rabbits under 2 months of age to be used as pets, toys or retail premiums.
(3) This section shall not be construed to apply to any animal or fowl, including but not limited to rabbits, baby chickens, and ducklings to be used or raised for agricultural purposes by persons with proper facilities to care for them or for poultry or livestock exhibitions.
(4) Any person violating the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 1, ch. 67-177; s. 953, ch. 71-136.
828.17 Officer to arrest without warrant.Any sheriff or any other peace officer of the state, or any police officer of any city or town of the state, shall arrest without warrant any person found violating any of the provisions of ss. 828.08, 828.12, and 828.13-828.16, and the officer making the arrest shall hold the offender until a warrant can be procured, and he or she shall use proper diligence to procure such warrant.
History.s. 15, ch. 4971, 1901; GS 3401; RGS 5250; CGL 7369; s. 1, ch. 28060, 1953; s. 32, ch. 73-334; s. 1288, ch. 97-102; s. 2, ch. 2002-51; s. 6, ch. 2010-117.
828.22 Humane Slaughter Act; humane slaughter and livestock euthanasia; requirements.
(1) Sections 828.22-828.26 may be cited as the “Humane Slaughter Act.”
(2)(a) The Legislature of this state finds that the use of humane methods in the killing of livestock prevents needless suffering, results in safer and better working conditions for persons engaged in the slaughtering industry or other livestock operations, brings about improvement of products and economy in slaughtering or other livestock operations, and produces other benefits for producers, processors, and consumers which tend to expedite the orderly flow of livestock and their products.
(b) It is therefore declared to be the policy of this state to require that the slaughter of all livestock and the handling of livestock in connection with slaughter shall be carried out only by humane methods and to provide that methods of slaughter shall conform generally to those employed in other states where humane slaughter is required by law and to those authorized by the federal Humane Slaughter Act of 1958, and regulations thereunder.
(3) Nothing in ss. 828.22-828.26 shall be construed to prohibit, abridge, or in any way hinder the religious freedom of any person or group. Notwithstanding any other provision of ss. 828.22-828.26, in order to protect freedom of religion, ritual slaughter and the handling or other preparation of livestock for ritual slaughter are exempted from the terms of ss. 828.22-828.26. For the purposes of this action the term “ritual slaughter” means slaughter in accordance with s. 828.23(3).
History.s. 1, ch. 61-254; s. 37, ch. 2001-279.
828.23 Definitions; ss. 828.22-828.26.As used in ss. 828.22-828.26, the following words shall have the meanings indicated:
(1) “Department” means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(2) “Person” means any individual, partnership, corporation, or association doing business in this state, in whole or in part.
(3) “Slaughter” means the act of killing one or more livestock animals for any purpose.
(4) “Slaughterer” means any person other than a licensed veterinarian, or an employee of a humane society or animal control agency, who kills livestock.
(5) “Livestock” means cattle, calves, sheep, swine, horses, mules, goats, ostriches, rheas, emus, and any other domestic animal that can or may be used in the preparation of animal products. For the purposes of ss. 828.22-828.26, “livestock” does not include poultry and aquatic species.
(6) “Humane method” means:
(a) A method whereby the animal is rapidly and effectively rendered insensitive to pain by electrical or chemical means or by a penetrating captive bolt or gunshot with appropriate caliber and placement; or
(b) A method in accordance with ritual requirements of any religious faith whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument.
History.s. 1, ch. 61-254; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 282, ch. 71-377; s. 4, ch. 92-206; s. 38, ch. 2001-279.
828.24 Prohibited acts; exemption.
(1) No person shall kill an animal in any way except by an approved humane method.
(2) No person shall shackle or hoist with intent to kill any animal prior to rendering the animal insensitive to pain.
(3) Nothing in this section precludes the enforcement of s. 828.12 relating to cruelty to animals.
History.s. 1, ch. 61-254; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 241, ch. 77-104; s. 39, ch. 2001-279; s. 2, ch. 2002-51.
828.25 Administration; rules; inspection; fees.
(1) The department shall administer the provisions of ss. 828.22-828.26. It shall adopt and may from time to time revise rules, which rules must conform substantially to and must not be less restrictive than the rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States pursuant to the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1958, Pub. L. No. 85-765, 72 Stat. 862, and any amendments thereto.
(2) The department may appoint any member of its staff as an official inspector for the purposes of ss. 828.22-828.26. Such inspector shall have the power to enter the premises of any slaughterer for the purposes of verifying compliance or noncompliance with the provisions of ss. 828.22-828.26.
(3) The department has the authority to conduct inspections of the premises of slaughterers at random intervals.
History.s. 1, ch. 61-254; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 40, ch. 2001-279; s. 92, ch. 2009-21.
828.251 Instruction.The department, in conjunction with the State University System, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and humane animal groups, shall make available to slaughterers the most current technical information. Such information may be in video or manual format, or another widely accepted media format.
History.s. 41, ch. 2001-279.
828.252 Nonambulatory animals.This section acknowledges that natural emergencies may arise and that, even under recognized best management practices, injury may occur. In all cases, nonambulatory animals must be dealt with in a humane manner.
(1) As used in this section, the term “nonambulatory animal” means any livestock that is unable to stand and walk unassisted.
(2) A person may not buy, sell, give, receive, transfer, market, hold without providing proper care within 24 hours, or drag any nonambulatory animal unless the nonambulatory animal has been humanely euthanized, except in such cases where providing proper care requires that the animal be moved.
History.s. 42, ch. 2001-279.
828.26 Penalties.
(1) Any person who violates the provisions of ss. 828.22-828.26 and any rule associated with these sections shall be subject to an administrative fine of up to $10,000 for each violation.
(2) Unless otherwise provided, any person who violates any provision of ss. 828.22-828.26 commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(3) Nothing in this section precludes the enforcement of s. 828.12, relating to cruelty to animals.
History.s. 1, ch. 61-254; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 958, ch. 71-136; s. 43, ch. 2001-279; s. 2, ch. 2002-51.
828.27 Local animal control or cruelty ordinances; penalty.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Animal” means any living dumb creature.
(b) “Animal control officer” means any person employed or appointed by a county or municipality who is authorized to investigate, on public or private property, civil infractions relating to animal control or cruelty and to issue citations as provided in this section. An animal control officer is not authorized to bear arms or make arrests; however, such officer may carry a device to chemically subdue and tranquilize an animal, provided that such officer has successfully completed a minimum of 16 hours of training in marksmanship, equipment handling, safety and animal care, and can demonstrate proficiency in chemical immobilization of animals in accordance with guidelines prescribed in the Chemical Immobilization Operational Guide of the American Humane Association.
(c) “Control” means the regulation of the possession, ownership, care, and custody of animals.
(d) “Cruelty” means any act of neglect, torture, or torment that causes unjustifiable pain or suffering of an animal.
(e) “Officer” means any law enforcement officer defined in s. 943.10 or any animal control officer.
(f) “Citation” means a written notice, issued to a person by an officer, that the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed a civil infraction in violation of a duly enacted ordinance and that the county court will hear the charge. The citation must contain:
1. The date and time of issuance.
2. The name and address of the person.
3. The date and time the civil infraction was committed.
4. The facts constituting probable cause.
5. The ordinance violated.
6. The name and authority of the officer.
7. The procedure for the person to follow in order to pay the civil penalty, to contest the citation, or to appear in court as required under subsection (6).
8. The applicable civil penalty if the person elects to contest the citation.
9. The applicable civil penalty if the person elects not to contest the citation.
10. A conspicuous statement that if the person fails to pay the civil penalty within the time allowed, or fails to appear in court to contest the citation, the person shall be deemed to have waived his or her right to contest the citation and that, in such case, judgment may be entered against the person for an amount up to the maximum civil penalty.
11. A conspicuous statement that if the person is required to appear in court as mandated by subsection (6), he or she does not have the option of paying a fine in lieu of appearing in court.
(g) “Ordinance” means any ordinance relating to the control of or cruelty to animals enacted by the governing body of a county or municipality the violation of which is a civil infraction.
(2) The governing body of a county or municipality is authorized to enact ordinances relating to animal control or cruelty, which ordinances must provide:
(a) That a violation of such an ordinance is a civil infraction.
(b) A maximum civil penalty not to exceed $500.
(c) A civil penalty of less than the maximum civil penalty if the person who has committed the civil infraction does not contest the citation.
(d) For the issuance of a citation by an officer who has probable cause to believe that a person has committed an act in violation of an ordinance.
(e) For the contesting of a citation in the county court.
(f) That, if a person fails to pay the civil penalty, fails to appear in court to contest the citation, or fails to appear in court as required by subsection (6), the court may issue an order to show cause upon the request of the governing body of the county or municipality. This order shall require such persons to appear before the court to explain why action on the citation has not been taken. If any person who is issued such order fails to appear in response to the court’s directive, that person may be held in contempt of court.
(g) Such procedures and provisions as are necessary to implement any ordinances enacted under the authority of this section.
(3) The commission of a charged infraction at a hearing authorized pursuant to this chapter must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence.
(4)(a)1. County-employed animal control officers shall, and municipally employed animal control officers may, successfully complete a 40-hour minimum standards training course. Such course shall include, but is not limited to, training for: animal cruelty investigations, search and seizure, animal handling, courtroom demeanor, and civil citations. The course curriculum must be approved by the Florida Animal Control Association. An animal control officer who successfully completes such course shall be issued a certificate indicating that he or she has received a passing grade.
2. Any animal control officer who is authorized prior to January 1, 1990, by a county or municipality to issue citations is not required to complete the minimum standards training course.
3. In order to maintain valid certification, every 2 years each certified county-employed animal control officer shall complete 4 hours of postcertification continuing education training. Such training may include, but is not limited to, training for: animal cruelty investigations, search and seizure, animal handling, courtroom demeanor, and civil citations.
(b) The governing body of a county or municipality may impose and collect a surcharge of up to $5 upon each civil penalty imposed for violation of an ordinance relating to animal control or cruelty. The proceeds from such surcharges shall be used to pay the costs of training for animal control officers.
(5) Any person who willfully refuses to sign and accept a citation issued by an officer is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(6) The governing body of a county or municipality may require mandatory court appearances for certain aggravated violations of a local ordinance resulting in the unprovoked biting, attacking, or wounding of a domestic animal; violations resulting in the destruction or loss of personal property; second or subsequent violations of local animal cruelty laws; or violations resulting in the issuance of a third or subsequent citation to a person. The citation must clearly inform the person of the mandatory court appearance. The governing body of the county or municipality shall maintain records to prove the number of citations issued to the person. Persons required to appear in court do not have the option of paying the fine instead of appearing in court.
(7) Nothing contained in this section shall prevent any county or municipality from enacting any ordinance relating to animal control or cruelty which is identical to the provisions of this chapter or any other state law, except as to penalty. However, no county or municipal ordinance relating to animal control or cruelty shall conflict with the provisions of this chapter or any other state law. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, the governing body of any county or municipality is authorized to enact ordinances prohibiting or regulating noise from any domesticated animal, violation of which shall be punishable upon conviction by a fine not to exceed $500 or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed 60 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, for each violation of such ordinance. This subsection shall not apply to animals on land zoned for agricultural purposes.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-96; s. 1, ch. 89-108; s. 43, ch. 91-110; s. 204, ch. 91-224; s. 2, ch. 91-228; s. 6, ch. 94-339; s. 1289, ch. 97-102; s. 103, ch. 99-3; s. 36, ch. 2000-308.
828.28 Local animal licensing ordinances; notices.
(1) Any county or municipality that has a licensing requirement for dogs must provide notice to dog owners at least 45 days prior to any licensure renewal deadline. The notice must contain information describing the licensing requirements and any associated penalties.
(2) Counties and municipalities with licensing requirements are encouraged to develop online licensing systems to provide a convenient and cost-effective licensing process.
History.s. 6, ch. 2010-87.
828.29 Dogs and cats transported or offered for sale; health requirements; consumer guarantee.
(1)(a) For each dog transported into the state for sale, the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics required by this section must be administered by or under the direction of a veterinarian, licensed by the state of origin and accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture, who issues the official certificate of veterinary inspection. The tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics must be administered no more than 30 days and no less than 14 days before the dog’s entry into the state. The official certificate of veterinary inspection certifying compliance with this section must accompany each dog transported into the state for sale.
(b) For each dog offered for sale within the state, the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics required by this section must be administered by or under the direction of a veterinarian, licensed by the state and accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture, who issues the official certificate of veterinary inspection. The tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics must be administered before the dog is offered for sale in the state, unless the licensed, accredited veterinarian certifies on the official certificate of veterinary inspection that to inoculate or deworm the dog is not in the best medical interest of the dog, in which case the vaccine or anthelmintic may not be administered to that particular dog. Each dog must receive vaccines and anthelmintics against the following diseases and internal parasites:
1. Canine distemper.
2. Leptospirosis.
3. Bordetella (by intranasal inoculation or by an alternative method of administration if deemed necessary by the attending veterinarian and noted on the health certificate, which must be administered in this state once before sale).
4. Parainfluenza.
5. Hepatitis.
6. Canine parvo.
7. Rabies, provided the dog is over 3 months of age and the inoculation is administered by a licensed veterinarian.
8. Roundworms.
9. Hookworms.

If the dog is under 4 months of age, the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics required by this section must be administered no more than 21 days before sale within the state. If the dog is 4 months of age or older, the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics required by this section must be administered at or after 3 months of age, but no more than 1 year before sale within the state.

(2)(a) For each cat transported into the state for sale, the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics required by this section must be administered by or under the direction of a veterinarian, licensed by the state of origin and accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture, who issues the official certificate of veterinary inspection. The tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics must be administered no more than 30 days and no less than 14 days before the cat’s entry into the state. The official certificate of veterinary inspection certifying compliance with this section must accompany each cat transported into the state for sale.
(b) For each cat offered for sale within the state, the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics required by this section must be administered by or under the direction of a veterinarian, licensed by the state and accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture, who issues the official certificate of veterinary inspection. The tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics must be administered before the cat is offered for sale in the state, unless the licensed, accredited veterinarian certifies on the official certificate of veterinary inspection that to inoculate or deworm the cat is not in the best medical interest of the cat, in which case the vaccine or anthelmintic may not be administered to that particular cat. Each cat must receive vaccines and anthelmintics against the following diseases and internal parasites:
1. Panleukopenia.
2. Feline viral rhinotracheitis.
3. Calici virus.
4. Rabies, if the cat is over 3 months of age and the inoculation is administered by a licensed veterinarian.
5. Hookworms.
6. Roundworms.

If the cat is under 4 months of age, the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics required by this section must be administered no more than 21 days before sale within the state. If the cat is 4 months of age or older, the tests, vaccines, and anthelmintics required by this section must be administered at or after 3 months of age, but no more than 1 year before sale within the state.

(3)(a) Each dog or cat subject to subsection (1) or subsection (2) must be accompanied by a current official certificate of veterinary inspection at all times while being offered for sale within the state. The examining veterinarian must retain one copy of the official certificate of veterinary inspection on file for at least 1 year after the date of examination. At the time of sale of the animal, one copy of the official certificate of veterinary inspection must be given to the buyer. The seller must retain one copy of the official certificate of veterinary inspection on record for at least 1 year after the date of sale.
(b) The term “official certificate of veterinary inspection” means a legible certificate of veterinary inspection signed by the examining veterinarian licensed by the state of origin and accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture, that shows the age, sex, breed, color, and health record of the dog or cat, the printed or typed names and addresses of the person or business from whom the animal was obtained, the consignor or seller, the consignee or purchaser, and the examining veterinarian, and the veterinarian’s license number. The official certificate of veterinary inspection must list all vaccines and deworming medications administered to the dog or cat, including the manufacturer, vaccine, type, lot number, expiration date, and the dates of administration thereof, and must state that the examining veterinarian warrants that, to the best of his or her knowledge, the animal has no sign of contagious or infectious diseases and has no evidence of internal or external parasites, including coccidiosis and ear mites, but excluding fleas and ticks. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall supply the official intrastate certificate of veterinary inspection required by this section at cost.
(c) The examination of each dog and cat by a veterinarian must take place no more than 30 days before the sale within the state. The examination must include, but not be limited to, a fecal test to determine if the dog or cat is free of internal parasites, including hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms. If the examination warrants, the dog or cat must be treated with a specific anthelmintic. In the absence of a definitive parasitic diagnosis, each dog or cat must be given a broad spectrum anthelmintic. Each dog over 6 months of age must also be tested for heartworms. Each cat must also be tested for feline leukemia before being offered for sale in the state. All of these tests must be performed by or under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian, and the results of the tests must be listed on the official certificate of veterinary inspection.
(d) All dogs and cats offered for sale and copies of certificates held by the seller and veterinarian are subject to inspection by any agent of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, any agent of the United States Department of Agriculture, any law enforcement officer, or any agent appointed under s. 828.03.
(4) A person may not transport into the state for sale or offer for sale within the state any dog or cat that is less than 8 weeks of age.
(5) If, within 14 days following the sale by a pet dealer of an animal subject to this section, a licensed veterinarian of the consumer’s choosing certifies that, at the time of the sale, the animal was unfit for purchase due to illness or disease, the presence of symptoms of a contagious or infectious disease, or the presence of internal or external parasites, excluding fleas and ticks; or if, within 1 year following the sale of an animal subject to this section, a licensed veterinarian of the consumer’s choosing certifies such animal to be unfit for purchase due to a congenital or hereditary disorder which adversely affects the health of the animal; or if, within 1 year following the sale of an animal subject to this section, the breed, sex, or health of such animal is found to have been misrepresented to the consumer, the pet dealer shall afford the consumer the right to choose one of the following options:
(a) The right to return the animal and receive a refund of the purchase price, including the sales tax, and reimbursement for reasonable veterinary costs directly related to the veterinarian’s examination and certification that the dog or cat is unfit for purchase pursuant to this section and directly related to necessary emergency services and treatment undertaken to relieve suffering;
(b) The right to return the animal and receive an exchange dog or cat of the consumer’s choice of equivalent value, and reimbursement for reasonable veterinary costs directly related to the veterinarian’s examination and certification that the dog or cat is unfit for purchase pursuant to this section and directly related to necessary emergency services and treatment undertaken to relieve suffering; or
(c) The right to retain the animal and receive reimbursement for reasonable veterinary costs for necessary services and treatment related to the attempt to cure or curing of the dog or cat.

Reimbursement for veterinary costs may not exceed the purchase price of the animal. The cost of veterinary services is reasonable if comparable to the cost of similar services rendered by other licensed veterinarians in proximity to the treating veterinarian and the services rendered are appropriate for the certification by the veterinarian.

(6) A consumer may sign a waiver relinquishing his or her right to return the dog or cat for congenital or hereditary disorders. In the case of such waiver, the consumer has 48 normal business hours, excluding weekends and holidays, in which to have the animal examined by a licensed veterinarian of the consumer’s choosing. If the veterinarian certifies that, at the time of sale, the dog or cat was unfit for purchase due to a congenital or hereditary disorder, the pet dealer must afford the consumer the right to choose one of the following options:
(a) The right to return the animal and receive a refund of the purchase price, including sales tax, but excluding the veterinary costs related to the certification that the dog or cat is unfit; or
(b) The right to return the animal and receive an exchange dog or cat of the consumer’s choice of equivalent value, but not a refund of the veterinary costs related to the certification that the dog or cat is unfit.
(7) A pet dealer may specifically state at the time of sale, in writing to the consumer, the presence of specific congenital or hereditary disorders, in which case the consumer has no right to any refund or exchange for those disorders.
(8) The refund or exchange required by subsection (5) or subsection (6) shall be made by the pet dealer not later than 10 business days following receipt of a signed veterinary certification as required in subsection (5) or subsection (6). The consumer must notify the pet dealer within 2 business days after the veterinarian’s determination that the animal is unfit. The written certification of unfitness must be presented to the pet dealer not later than 3 business days following receipt thereof by the consumer.
(9) An animal may not be determined unfit for sale on account of an injury sustained or illness contracted after the consumer takes possession of the animal. A veterinary finding of intestinal or external parasites is not grounds for declaring a dog or cat unfit for sale unless the animal is clinically ill because of that condition.
(10) If a pet dealer wishes to contest a demand for veterinary expenses, refund, or exchange made by a consumer under this section, the dealer may require the consumer to produce the animal for examination by a licensed veterinarian designated by the dealer. Upon such examination, if the consumer and the dealer are unable to reach an agreement that constitutes one of the options set forth in subsection (5) or subsection (6) within 10 business days following receipt of the animal for such examination, the consumer may initiate an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover or obtain reimbursement of veterinary expenses, refund, or exchange.
(11) This section does not in any way limit the rights or remedies that are otherwise available to a consumer under any other law.
(12) Every pet dealer who sells an animal to a consumer must provide the consumer at the time of sale with a written notice, printed or typed, which reads as follows:

It is the consumer’s right, pursuant to section 828.29, Florida Statutes, to receive a certificate of veterinary inspection with each dog or cat purchased from a pet dealer. Such certificate shall list all vaccines and deworming medications administered to the animal and shall state that the animal has been examined by a Florida-licensed veterinarian who certifies that, to the best of the veterinarian’s knowledge, the animal was found to have been healthy at the time of the veterinary examination. In the event that the consumer purchases the animal and finds it to have been unfit for purchase as provided in section 828.29(5), Florida Statutes, the consumer must notify the pet dealer within 2 business days of the veterinarian’s determination that the animal was unfit. The consumer has the right to retain, return, or exchange the animal and receive reimbursement for certain related veterinary services rendered to the animal, subject to the right of the dealer to have the animal examined by another veterinarian.

(13) For the purposes of subsections (5)-(12) and (16), the term “pet dealer” means any person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other association which, in the ordinary course of business, engages in the sale of more than two litters, or 20 dogs or cats, per year, whichever is greater, to the public. This definition includes breeders of animals who sell such animals directly to a consumer.
(14) The state attorney may bring an action to enjoin any violator of this section or s. 828.12 or s. 828.13 from being a pet dealer.
(15) County-operated or city-operated animal control agencies and registered nonprofit humane organizations are exempt from this section.
(16) A pet dealer may not knowingly misrepresent the breed, sex, or health of any dog or cat offered for sale within the state.
(17) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a person who violates any provision of this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 1, ch. 81-234; s. 1, ch. 90-154; s. 23, ch. 90-321; s. 9, ch. 91-294; s. 8, ch. 93-13; s. 1290, ch. 97-102; s. 2, ch. 2002-51.
Note.Former s. 585.195; s. 828.31; s. 585.95.
828.30 Rabies vaccination of dogs, cats, and ferrets.
(1) All dogs, cats, and ferrets 4 months of age or older must be vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian against rabies with a vaccine that is licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture for use in those species. The owner of every dog, cat, and ferret shall have the animal revaccinated 12 months after the initial vaccination. Thereafter, the interval between vaccinations shall conform to the vaccine manufacturer’s directions. The cost of vaccination must be borne by the animal’s owner. Evidence of circulating rabies virus neutralizing antibodies shall not be used as a substitute for current vaccination in managing rabies exposure or determining the need for booster vaccinations.
(2) A dog, cat, or ferret is exempt from vaccination against rabies if a licensed veterinarian has examined the animal and has certified in writing that at the time vaccination would endanger the animal’s health because of its age, infirmity, disability, illness, or other medical considerations. An exempt animal must be vaccinated against rabies as soon as its health permits.
(3) Upon vaccination against rabies, the licensed veterinarian shall provide the animal’s owner and the animal control authority with a rabies vaccination certificate. Each animal control authority and veterinarian shall use the “Rabies Vaccination Certificate” of the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) or an equivalent form approved by the local government that contains all the information required by the NASPHV Rabies Vaccination Certificate. The veterinarian who administers the rabies vaccine to an animal as required under this section may affix his or her signature stamp in lieu of an actual signature.
(4) Each ferret vaccinated according to this section must be quarantined, when necessary, according to rules of the Department of Health.
(5) An animal owner’s name, street address, phone number, and animal tag number contained in a rabies vaccination certificate provided to the animal control authority is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. However, any person who has been bitten, scratched, or otherwise exposed to a zoonotic disease or the physician of such person; a veterinarian who is treating an animal that has been bitten, scratched, or otherwise exposed to a zoonotic disease; or the owner of an animal that has been bitten, scratched, or otherwise exposed to a zoonotic disease shall be provided with any information contained in a rabies vaccination certificate but only with respect to the particular animal biting, scratching, or otherwise causing exposure. Any person with an animal tag number may receive vaccination certificate information with regard to that animal. Law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies; other animal control authorities; emergency and medical response and disease control agencies; or other governmental health agencies shall be provided information contained in the rabies vaccination certificate for the purpose of controlling the transmission of rabies; however, the receiving agencies and authorities must not release the exempt information.
(6) Violation of this section is a civil infraction, punishable as provided in s. 828.27(2).
(7) This section does not prohibit or limit municipalities or counties from establishing requirements similar to or more stringent than the provisions of this section for the implementation and enforcement of rabies-control ordinances. However, local governments shall not mandate revaccination of currently vaccinated animals except in instances involving postexposure treatment for rabies.
History.s. 7, ch. 94-339; s. 3, ch. 95-220; s. 1, ch. 98-178; s. 1, ch. 98-213; s. 1, ch. 2003-170; s. 1, ch. 2005-74; s. 9, ch. 2006-289.
Note.Former s. 585.69.
828.40 Short title.Sections 828.40-828.43 may be cited as the “Florida Animal Enterprise Protection Act.”
History.s. 9, ch. 93-13.
828.41 Definitions relating to Florida Animal Enterprise Protection Act.As used in ss. 828.40-828.43, the term:
(1) “Animal enterprise” means:
(a) A commercial or academic enterprise that uses animals for food or fiber production, agriculture, research, or testing;
(b) A zoo, aquarium, circus, rodeo, or lawful competitive animal event; or
(c) Any fair or similar event intended to advance agricultural arts and sciences.
(2) “Physical disruption” does not include any lawful disruption that results from lawful public, governmental, or animal enterprise employee reaction to the disclosure of information about an animal enterprise.
(3) “Serious bodily injury” means bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
(4) “Economic damage” means the replacement costs of lost or damaged property or records, the costs of repeating an interrupted or invalidated experiment, and the loss of profits.
History.s. 10, ch. 93-13.
828.42 Animal enterprise disruption; criminal penalties.
(1) A person who intentionally causes physical disruption to the property, personnel, or operations of an animal enterprise by intentionally stealing, damaging, or causing the loss of, any property, including animals or records, used by the animal enterprise, and thereby causes economic damage, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(2) A person who in the course of a violation of subsection (1) causes serious bodily injury to another commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) A person who violates subsection (1), if such violation results in economic damage exceeding $10,000, commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(4) The offender must pay restitution under s. 775.089. Restitution includes, but is not limited to:
(a) The reasonable cost of repeating any experimentation that was interrupted or invalidated as a result of the offense.
(b) The loss of food production or farm income reasonably attributable to the offense.
History.s. 11, ch. 93-13.
828.43 Injunction.In a case of ongoing animal enterprise disruption, the aggrieved animal enterprise may obtain injunctive relief.
History.s. 12, ch. 93-13.
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