County Council Approves Measure Supporting ‘Ponce’s Law’ Animal Cruelty Bill

By on November 16, 2017 in WNDB News

Volusia County, FL – The Volusia County Council approved a measure on Thursday supporting “Ponce’s Law,” which would impose stricter penalties for those charged with animal abuse.

“Ponce’s Law,” also known as State House Bill 473, was co-sponsored by State Representatives Tom Leek and Jason Brodeur. It was named after a dog named Ponce, who was brutally beaten to death in Ponce Inlet earlier this year. The purpose of the bill, if it becomes law, would be to change the classification of aggravated animal abuse from a Level 3 third-degree felony to a Level 5 third-degree felony.

“Sadly, the way the law is now, criminals who commit these violent crimes against animals often get off with minimal penalties, a slap on the wrist, or probation. They’re basically failing to pay their debt to society,” Ponce Inlet Police Chief Frank Fabrizio told the Council. He urged the Council to support “Ponce’s Law.”

Fabrizio said that currently, it is very difficult for judges to sentence those convicted of animal cruelty to any prison time. “Ponce’s Law” would give prosecutors and judges a greater possibility of sentencing those convicted of animal cruelty to prison. “Ponce’s Law” would also give the courts the leverage to ban violators from owning or having contact with animals.

The Council unanimously approved the motion to support the bill. “We protect our homeless. We protect our elderly. It’s time someone spoke up for our pets,” said Council member Billie Wheeler.

Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2017.

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