A new bill proposed in Florida would punish pet owners who tie up their pets or leave them behind during a natural or manmade disaster.
Violators would be charged with animal cruelty, a first-degree misdemeanor, and they could face up to a year in jail or a fine of up to $5,000.
“The Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control director reported that many pets are left chained to trees and parked cars, as their owner left them behind to 'ride out the storm' on their own. During Hurricane Irma, 49 dogs and two cats were rescued by animal control officers,” the bill states.
Several local governments have their own rules about leaving dogs tied up during storms.
The bill was approved Monday by the Senate Agriculture Committee.