Harsher punishment for animal cruelty-Ponce’s Law
11/5/17 Article in “Florida Politics”…please read
Debbie Taylor Darino
Daytona Beach, FL
Nov 5, 2017 — Takeaways from Tallahassee — Seeking justice for puppies
1 day ago
After a puppy was beaten to death in Volusia County earlier this year, the fight to give animal abusers harsher penalties is gaining momentum at the state Capitol.
And if passed, those who are convicted could be banned from owning or contacting animals.
It all began in April when neighbors heard a racket coming from inside a Ponce Inlet home, where Travis Archer, the owner of Ponce, a black 9-month-old Labrador retriever, lived.
Upon entering the home, police found the dog dead in the backyard. According to a Daytona Beach News-Journal report, Archer said the dog “tore up his house” and that he had hit it several times to discipline it.
Tom Leek is looking for harsher punishment for animal abusers.
Travis was charged with animal cruelty, which means he technically could face up to five years in prison if convicted. But because he has no prior convictions, there is no mandated prison time under the current law.
The case sparked outrage locally, prompting animal rights advocates to push for more severe sanctions that would make it more likely for animal abusers to serve time behind bars. This week the push for that began at the state level with a bill (HB 473) filed by Rep. Tom Leek, an Ormond Beach Republican.
While the proposal, called “Ponce’s Law,” would make it more likely for those convicted of animal abuse to serve time, it still does not guarantee it. It will all depend on the person’s criminal background and a judge’s discretion. Under the bill, judges would be allowed to use their discretion to determine whether someone found guilty of these crimes should be banned from owning or even coming into contact with an animal.
It’s hard to imagine banning a convicted animal abuser from a dog park, but that could be the result.
“The horrific event that took place in Ponce Inlet will remain a somber reminder of the evil inflicted upon animals across our state,” Leek said in a statement.
The effort is being spearheaded by Ponce Inlet’s Chief of Police Frank Fabrizio, the ASPCA, the Halifax Humane Society in Volusia County and Debbie Darino, who launched a “Justice for Ponce” petition proposing an amendment to current state animal cruelty laws. The petition garnered nearly 75,000 signatures.
Darino is also the founder of a closed Facebook page, Justice for Ponce. If the posts on Facebook are any indication, people should expect colorful banners with Ponce’s face and the hashtag #DogsLivesMatter to pop up as the measure moves ahead.
Please Sign this petition, we are so close to 75,000 needed
It’s about time something was done as these low life animal abusers just keep getting away with a slap on the wrist . We must be the voice of the…
The ASPCA Supports Ponce’s Law!!!!!!!!
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