State Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami, and state Rep. Emily Slosberg-King, D-Boca Raton, are teaming up with a former professional wrestler turned Marvel Cinematic Universe actor on an animal welfare bill.
The two legislators brought back the “Penny Bautista Act,” which makes “it illegal to tether an unattended domestic cat or dog.” They showcased the proposal this week.
“This legislation is named after the three-month-old puppy…found abandoned, eating trash at a Tampa area cemetery, with a metal chain embedded in her neck, and was adopted from the Humane Society of Tampa and named ‘Penny’ by former professional wrestler and Marvel Cinematic Universe actor Dave Bautista. Surgery was performed on the puppy to remove the chain, and recovery is underway. Mr. Bautista and others have offered a significant reward for information leading to information on the abuser,” the legislators’ offices noted. “With the passage of HB 1075/SB 1508 the owner of an unattended tethered dog or cat would get a warning for the first offense, a $250 fine for the second offense, and a $500 fine for every offense after that. Last session this bill passed its first committee with unanimous bipartisan support but ultimately stalled. With opportunities for open conversation, SB 1508 and HB 1075 can be a great success in keeping not only our beloved pets safe but also our children.”
Bautista, who won titles as a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar and who played Drax the Destroyer in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, weighed in on the bill on Wednesday.
“As a dog lover, Floridian and adopter of Penny, a dog who has been horribly victimized by the cruelty of being chained, I am in full support of Senate Bill 1508 and House Bill 1075 to ban this inhumane practice,” said Bautista.
“When dogs are tied up for 24/7, it makes them more aggressive and extremely dangerous,” said Taddeo who is running for the Democratic nomination to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis in November. “We’ve had several incidents where kids have been killed because they got near a dog that was tied up. One kid’s death should be enough for us to do something about it, let alone multiple ones.”
“Unfortunately, we have repeatedly seen dogs and cats tethered in inhumane conditions across the state. Many are kept in deplorable conditions for their entire lives. Imagine living your entire life chained up, without clean water, without social contact,” Slosberg-King said. “These bills are crucial to fighting these cruel living conditions and creating safer environments for our household dogs and cats.”
The League of Humane Voters’ Florida chapter is backing the proposal.
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