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Legislation encourages more animal shelter adoptions in Florida

1:24 PM, Feb 20, 2013   |    comments
Lilac at the Tallahassee Animal Service Center needs a home. It's estimated 250,000 dogs and cats are euthanized in Florida each year.
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Tallahassee, Florida - A state senator has filed a bill that aims to motivate more Floridians to adopt homeless dogs and cats.

An estimated quarter-of-a-million dogs and cats are euthanized every year at Florida animal shelters, according to a group called Fix Florida. It works to reduce the killing of animals in shelters.

Animal advocates believe that is a horrifying amount of euthanasia. Fix Florida reports more than 50 percent of the pets that enter animal shelters are ultimately put down.

Sen. Joe Abruzzo, D-Wellington, wants to save some of those pets.

He's pushing legislation that would force animal shelters to publish online how many dogs and cats come in each month, and how many get euthanized.

Abruzzo hopes the stark numbers prompt more people to adopt a shelter pet.

"You need to have steps and the first step is logically, let's get the statistics so we know truly how many dogs and cats we're putting down. At the end of the day, it's all about saving their lives."

Sen. Abruzzo calls the bill the "Transparency in Animal Shelters Act." He says some counties keep very detailed records of their animal euthanasia, but others don't.

"We are diving into transparency this session, not only for lawmakers but I would like to make it also for our animals in our state."

Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, has filed a similar bill, but that version would not require animal shelters to put their euthanasia statistics online.

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