Florida Animal Anti-Cruelty Statutes
Florida’s anti-animal cruelty statutes can be unclear as many of them only apply to companion animals as opposed to wildlife. Under Florida law, anyone who overdrives, torments, overloads, or deprives an animal of sustenance or shelter commits animal cruelty. Likewise, anyone who kills, mutilates, or otherwise treats any animal in an inhumane or cruel manner commits animal cruelty. These acts include the knowing and intentional torture or torment of an animal, which results in injury, mutilation, or death to the animal. In Florida, animal cruelty is a first-degree misdemeanor.
Moreover, there are other cruel acts that are considered crimes under Florida law, including:
- Aggravated animal cruelty is when an individual intentionally commits an act against an animal which results in its cruel death; or the act consists of excessive, repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering. This is charged as third-degree felony; and
- Illegal method of taking occurs when an individual unnecessarily mutilates, torments, and/or otherwise treats any animal in an inhumane or cruel manner. This is charged as a second-degree misdemeanor.
Someone charged with these crimes can face possible punishment of up to one year in prison and/or a monetary fine of up to $10,000.
To consult with an experienced litigation lawyer today, call 855-686-6752
Florida Pet Owner Rights
When someone, like a groomer or a veterinarian, hurts your pet as a result of wrongdoing, you may be entitled to monetary compensation in Florida for harm suffered. Monetary damages that may be awarded in a lawsuit by an owner involving injury to an animal may include the cost of veterinary care for reasonable treatment of the animal’s injuries. There are three general ways in which a Florida court calculates an animal’s economic value:
- Fair market value: This is the monetary amount the pet would bring if it were sold on the open market and includes factors such as the animal’s age, health, pedigree, breed, and purchase price;
- Replacement cost: This is the cost to replace the animal, which is often higher than the market value because it can encompass additional factors such as training and awards;
Of note, sometimes the animal’s lost potential value is also included particularly if the animal is kept for breeding as it is essentially a business asset under the eyes of the law.
Under Florida law, anyone who overdrives, torments, overloads, or deprives an animal of sustenance or shelter commits animal cruelty.
Central Florida Litigation Attorneys
If you have questions about Florida’s animal cruelty laws, or your pet has suffered harm or death due to the acts of another, call the litigation attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns. Contact us to schedule your consultation today.
NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.