“Florida Animal Rescue Act, SB 818, HB 597, would make it illegal for a shelter to kill an
animal when a qualified non-profit rescue organization is willing to save that animal.”
A statewide survey of rescue groups across Florida State found that 63% of non-profit animal rescue
groups have had at least one Florida state shelter refuse to work collaboratively with them and then turn
around and kill they very animals they were willing to save. The most common reason given was shelters
either having a policy of not working with rescue groups or being openly hostile to doing so.
It makes no sense to kill animals in the face of cost-effective alternatives, nor does it make sense that
taxpayers are spending money to kill animals when non-profit organizations are willing and able to save them
at private expense. California’s “rescue access” law saves tens of thousands of animals every year at no cost
to the public.
The same survey also found that 45% of respondents are afraid to complain about inhumane conditions or
practices at Florida shelters because if they did complain, they would not be allowed to rescue animals, thus
allowing those inhumane conditions to continue.
In addition, 81% of rescue groups that have tried to work with more than one shelter said that different
shelters have different rescue access policies, with more than half of those respondents saying that criteria
for saving animals changes depending on what staff is on duty or whether staff changes. This creates
inefficiency and limits the number of animals who can and should be saved.
The Florida Animal Rescue Act would set statewide standards for rescue group access and make it illegal
for a shelter to kill an animal when a qualified non-profit rescue organization is willing to save that animal.
Not only will it save lives, save taxpayer money, and mandate public-private partnerships, the Florida Animal
Rescue Act is consistent with public health and safety, and improves the public satisfaction with the job
government is doing.