Animal Shelter Not Complying With New Law
It's been over a month since a new Forida law went into effect requiring animal shelters to provide the public with records on their animals.
Not everyone is keeping up with the changes.
For the past several weeks, we have requested records from seven counties across North Central Florida.
All the counties provided me with some sort of record, but there is one county not complying with state requirements.
Meet two- year- old Bella.
She and her pitbull puppies were surrendered by their owner on July 22,2013.
Now she lives at the Marion County Animal Shelter, hoping to find a forever family.
In July 2013 a total of 394 dogs and 615 cats were at one point living at the Marion County Animal Shelter.
A Florida law that went into effect on July 1, 2013 requires animal shelters keep track of and make public the number of animals they take in, where the animal came from and it's fate.
"That means residents will have a clearer picture of where the animals are coming from. Are they being surrendered by their owners, are they coming in as part of a cruelty case, are they coming in as strays," said Elaine McClain with Marion County Animal Services.
Marion, Alachua, Levy, Gilchrist, Bradford and Columbia counties all showed proof of their records.
Jeannette Peters with Maddies Coalition of Alachua County said keeping records has helped reduce the number of animals being euthanized in Alachua County.
"Our data system has changed everything for us. We've moved from a county that killed more than 8000 animals in year 2000, to fewer than a thousand last year," said Peters.
The one county that has not been following the new state requirements is Dixie County.
Sheriff's Office Major Scott Harden said they only keep track of the animals they euthanize.
Harden said staff will start following the requirements this August, providing more transparency to the public.
"It will allow county residents to see what's happening in their local animals services system and see how they can help or celebrate when progress is being made or identify when there is gaps in the system that need to be addressed," said Peters.
Out of the seven counties, Marion and Columbia counties had the highest number of euthanized animals last month.
Since late 2009, Marion County Animal Control has spayed and neutered more than 27,000.
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