By Selene Raj
To protect animals from the horrific abuse at the hands of their caretakers, State Representative Dan Daley has re-filed a bill in the Florida House of Representatives which would require veterinarians to report abuse.
The bill, called Allie’s Law, was named after a 4-year-old Boston Terrier in Orlando who suffered abuse at her caretaker’s hands. Allie was left with scars on her face, ears, legs, and the circumstances she had gone through were recognized by a veterinarian as an abuse situation. However, no authorities were notified.
Allie was used solely for breeding, Daley explained. At two-years-old, after being in labor for more than a full day with her third litter, Allie’s owner reportedly surrendered her to the hospital where she had six puppies.
Despite her abuse, she survived and was rescued and adopted by David Heine.
Daley said he had the pleasure of meeting Allie when Heine brought her to him.
“She’s so cute, just a sweetheart,” said Daley, whose district covers Coral Springs, Tamarac, Sunrise, and Plantation.
He filed Allie’s Law last year to prevent such abuse from happening to Allie or any other pet.
Heine passed away earlier this year, but Daley said he was the driving force behind the legislation. In his memory, Daley intends to continue the work of stopping unreported animal abuse.
Though Allie’s Law did not progress the first time it was filed, Daley found support from constituents and colleagues alike.
“Animal issues are bipartisan issues,” he said.
Beyond protecting innocent animals, Daley believes that detecting and deterring animal abuse is important because such behavior can often be an indicator of child and spouse abuse and referencing what is known as the Toxic Triad.
“[This law] is not just for the sake of the animal,” he said.
Given that importance, he re-filed the bill on December 9 with the bipartisan support of a Republican co-sponsor, Representative Rene Plasencia of Orlando.
A companion bill was also filed by Senator Jason Pizzo, a Democrat from Miami.
Initially, the bill was met with stark resistance from the veterinary community in Florida, who believes it would lead people to avoid bringing their pets to the vet out of fear of being reported.
Daley said that similar arguments were made by doctors when the mandate to report child abuse was first introduced, but none of their worst fears came to pass.
Like the way doctors have sworn an oath to protect their human patients, veterinarians have sworn an oath to protect and care for their animals—Daley believes this bill is aligned with that oath.
He said that in ongoing conversations with veterinarians, they’re making progress in finding common ground.
“They have done a lot of reflection and have been working with us to be comfortable with that mandate,” he said.
Growing up with dogs in the house, two or three at any given time in his childhood, Daley said he is a big dog lover who hopes to do all he can to protect them.
“I am honored to work on this bipartisan legislation again this year in Tallahassee,” said Daley.
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- Selene Raj is a writer and a Florida International University graduate. Born in Trinidad and raised in America, she completed her Master’s in Mass Communications in 2020 and has been living in Coral Springs since 2004. She is passionate about the communities she lives and works in and loves reporting and sharing stories that are as complex and meaningful as the people who live in them.
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