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Allie's Law Sought to Help Abused Animals in Florida

Update: Florida Senator Jason Pizzo has introduced S 216 to require veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse.

Paws Up!
December 17, 2020

To Florida Representatives Dan Daley and Scott Plakon for supporting House Bill 621 in an effort to help stop animal abuse.

Veterinarians use their expertise to diagnose and treat the numerous patients they see every day. Some of the ailments they encounter are self-explanatory, while others are more complex. When the animals are accompanied by their owners, relaying accurate information helps provide a diagnosis and treatment plan. In some cases, the cause is knowingly withheld due to animal abuse. When faced with this ugly truth, veterinarians who live in states that mandate animal abuse reporting know how to proceed. When reporting is not mandatory, veterinarians’ responses vary. According to VIN News Service, veterinarians do not report suspected abuse: (1) out of fear of recourse; (2) because they feel inadequately trained to detect the signs of animal abuse; (3) because they do not want to break the code of ethics; or (4) they are afraid reporting abuse will deter owners from seeking medical care. The inclusion of laws to protect veterinarians is important when deciding to require veterinarians to report abuse. When suspected animal abuse goes unnoticed or no report is filed, animals continue to suffer and may even lose their lives. 

At the end of 2019, House Bill 621 was introduced by Florida Representatives Dan Daley (D-District 97) and Scott Plakon (R-District 29). Unfortunately, the bill died. HB 621, referred to as Allie’s Law, was named after a Boston terrier whose abuse went undocumented by a veterinarian. Her previous owner used her for breeding and surrendered her to the veterinary clinic/hospital while she was in labor with her third litter of puppies. Her body told the story of her life. She had scars all over. Allie now lives a pampered life with her adoptive family, but she might have been spared the longevity of her abuse if mandatory reporting had been in place. If passed, HB 621 would have: (1) required veterinarians to report suspected abuse; (2) provided immunity for veterinarians; and (3) prevented altering or destroying the documentation of veterinary medical records. Any veterinarian found guilty of not reporting suspected abuse may have faced disciplinary action.

This month, Florida Senator Jason Pizzo (D-District 38) introduced a version of Allie’s Law with S 216 that will: (1) require veterinarians and other animal care staff to report suspected animal abuse; (2) give veterinarians and other animal care staff the authority to report suspected animal abuse at “certain commercial food-producing animal operations”; and (3) provide disciplinary measures for veterinarians and other animal care staff who do not report suspected animal abuse. If passed, S 216 will go into effect at the beginning of July 2021.

Take Action: Florida residents, if you believe that veterinarians should be required to report suspected animal abuse, please contact your representative today.

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8 responses to “Allie’s Law Sought to Help Abused Animals in Florida”

  1. Elizabeth Watson says:

    All vets should be required to report animal abuse. Period.

    • Katheryn Young says:

      I totally agree with you, should be worldwide!! No innocent animal should ever be abused!๐Ÿ™๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ‘

  2. M.Gail Laub says:

    Any Vet who suspects or wonders if an animal has been abused should report it. Owners who love their animals should be glad if a Vet even mistakenly requests an investigation to ensure that an animal is protected, rather than let abuse continue.

  3. Diana Lewis says:

    This requirement seems basic to abuse prevention.

  4. Michele Hoff says:

    This is an important step to help end animal abuse.

  5. Georganna Tait says:


  6. Lee Deak says:

    Animal abuse nationwide is out of control. Anyone and everyone, but especially professionals such as veterinarians should be required to report abuse (even possible abuse). We need a nation registry, just like sex offenders as well.

  7. Bonnie Engelman says:

    Of course! If doctors do it for children, why wouldnโ€™t vets do it for animals? And the laws should be tightened for people who abuse it even neglect animals. It is heinous to hurt a poor defenseless creature, itโ€™s the worst and should be a felony not just a misdemeanor!

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