Tallahassee, FL – The Florida Legislature has approved “Ponce’s Law,” a bill which aims to impose stricter penalties on those who are charged with animal cruelty, and the bill will now head for final approval by the Governor.
Representative Tom Leek, of Ormond Beach, introduced “Ponce’s Law.” The bill was named after a dog named Ponce, who was brutally beaten to death in Ponce Inlet last 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.
Now that the bill has been passed in the State Legislature, it moves on to be signed by Governor Rick Scott in order to become law, Leek’s office announced on Tuesday.
“What happened in Ponce Inlet was tragic, but ‘Ponce’s Law’ is a just a substantive victory for animal welfare in the state of Florida,” says Leek. “Together, we are sending a message that Florida is serious about animal cruelty. I am proud of the job we have done, and to have worked with the passionate sponsors and co-sponsors of this bill.”
According to a press release from Representative Leek’s Office, research from Northeastern University and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shows animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people than non-abusers.
“This bill will give prosecutors and law enforcement the leverage they need to address animal cruelty in the courtroom. I am proud to have been a part of this mission and grateful that we have achieved justice for Ponce,” says Ponce Inlet Chief of Police Frank Fabrizio.
Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2018.