Thursday, January 19, 2012

Opponents In Florida Call Non Profit Rescue Organizations Hoarders In Disguise.

Opponents of Florida Animal Rescue Act Call Rescue Organizations "Hoarders"

As the Florida Animal Rescue Act (FARA) nears approval by the Senate Community Affairs Committee next week, some opponents are attempting to derail this lifesaving legislation by making false claims that Florida's non-profit rescue organizations are actually "hoarders" in disguise.

The Florida Animal Rescue Act will make it illegal for shelters to kill any animal that a qualified 501(c)3 rescue organization is willing to save. However, to the detriment of Florida's sheltered pets, some Florida shelters and animal welfare organizations, like the Florida Animal Control Association, are defending their right and discretion to kill animals, even when rescue organizations are willing to take them. The committee was ready to pass this common-sense bill but deferred it temporarily in order to clear up false claims being made by the opposition.

While 63% of non-profit animal rescue groups in Florida have had at least one state shelter refuse to work collaboratively with them and then turn around and kill the very animals they were willing to save, some shelters are trying to defend those arbitrary killings by claiming that rescue groups are "hoarders" in disguise, and that the bill would require shelters to turn animals over to "hoarders."

These allegations are completely false, as the bill specifically excludes organizations with a volunteer, staff member, director, and/or officer with a conviction for animal neglect, cruelty, and/or dog fighting, and suspends the organization while such charges are pending. In addition, animal hoarding has nothing to do with rescue organizations, and is in fact a mental illness and crime perpetrated by individuals that should be treated and punished as such.

These false claims are nothing more than attempts by regressive shelters to maintain control over their perceived right and discretion to kill animals, a position completely out-of-touch with the humane values of the communities they serve. The Florida Animal Rescue Act is proven legislation, and a win-win for taxpayers and animals, as every animal turned over to a qualified rescue organization is one less that needs to be supported through public funds.

The time is now for Florida's animal lovers to stand in support of this necessary legislation, and speak out against the false accusations leveled by the opposition. Supporters are asked to visit www.floridarescueact.com to learn more about the bill, and utilize action alerts to contact their state representatives, and to write and call Senator Michael Bennett, the bill's sponsor and the Chair of the Community Affairs Committee:

The Honorable Michael S. Bennett
President Pro Tempore
Florida State Senate

Wildewood Professional Park, Ste. 90
3653 Cortez Rd. W.
Bradenton, FL 34210

Via e-mail: bennett.mike.web@flsenate.gov
Via fax: (941) 727-6352
Local phone: (941) 727-6349
Statewide phone: 1-800-500-1239


SOURCE No Kill Nation

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