Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 130434
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File Number: 130434 File Type: Ordinance Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: 13-52 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: AMEND DEFINITION OF ACTS DEEMED CRUELTY TO ANIMALS Introduced: 3/5/2013
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 6/4/2013
Agenda Date: 6/4/2013 Agenda Item Number: 7E
Notes: 6WKS/4WKS Title: ORDINANCE PERTAINING TO ANIMALS; AMENDING DEFINITION OF ACTS DEEMED CRUELTY TO ANIMALS; INCREASING PENALTIES FOR CRUELTY TO HORSES; AMENDING SECTIONS 5-4 AND 8CC-10 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA; PROVIDING AUTHORITY FOR ENFORCEMENT BY CIVIL PENALTY; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE
Indexes: ANIMALS
Sponsors: Dennis C. Moss, Prime Sponsor
  Esteban L. Bovo, Jr., Co-Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, Co-Sponsor
  Sen. Javier D. Souto, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 6/4/2013 7E Adopted P

Public Safety & Animal Services Committee 5/15/2013 1F3 Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Gerald Sanchez read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. Chairwoman Heyman opened the public hearing calling for persons wishing to be heard, and seeing no one to appear, closed the public hearing. Commissioners Edmonson and Bovo asked to be added as co-sponsors to the foregoing proposed ordinance. Chairwoman Heyman expressed her personal appreciation to the County’s legal staff, who along with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) secured a lease agreement for $1.00 per year on more than 20 acres in South Miami-Dade. She noted this property would serve as a safe haven for large animals, particularly horses. Hearing no further questions or comments, the Committee proceeded to vote.

Board of County Commissioners 4/5/2013 Municipalities notified of public hearing Public Safety & Animal Services Committee 5/15/2013 4/2/2013

Board of County Commissioners 4/2/2013 Tentatively scheduled for a public hearing Public Safety & Animal Services Committee 5/15/2013

Board of County Commissioners 4/2/2013 4E Adopted on first reading 5/15/2013 P
REPORT: The foregoing proposed ordinance was adopted on first reading and scheduled for a public hearing before the Public Safety and Animal Services Committee on May 15, 2013.

Board of County Commissioners 3/5/2013 Requires Municipal Notification Public Safety & Animal Services Committee 5/15/2013

County Attorney 3/5/2013 Referred Public Safety & Animal Services Committee 5/15/2013

County Attorney 3/5/2013 Assigned Dennis A. Kerbel

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE PERTAINING TO ANIMALS; AMENDING DEFINITION OF ACTS DEEMED CRUELTY TO ANIMALS; INCREASING PENALTIES FOR CRUELTY TO HORSES; AMENDING SECTIONS 5-4 AND 8CC-10 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA; PROVIDING AUTHORITY FOR ENFORCEMENT BY CIVIL PENALTY; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE

BODY
WHEREAS, encouraging the humane treatment of animals is important to the public health, safety, and welfare of Miami-Dade County residents; and
WHEREAS, the cruel treatment and illegal slaughter of horses has become a unique problem affecting Miami-Dade County’s agricultural community; and
WHEREAS, this Board considers the mistreatment of horses to be especially heinous and intolerable and therefore desires to increase the penalty for this act of cruelty,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. Section 5-4 of the Code of Miami-Dade County is hereby amended to read as follows: 1
Sec. 5-4. - Cruelty to animals.

* * * *
(b) Acts deemed cruelty to animals. It shall be unlawful to commit any act that constitutes cruelty to animals. The following acts shall be deemed cruelty to animals (see Sections 828.12, 828.13 and 828.16, Florida Statutes):
(1) To torture, torment, mutilate, kill, or unnecessarily overdrive any animal or to cause the same to be done.

(1.1) To engage in animal fighting, including, without limitation, dog fighting or cock fighting. For purposes of this section, to be engaged in animal fighting means to instigate, promote, assist, hold, manage, stage, conduct, be employed in connection with, be present for the preparation of, provide an animal for, allow one’s own real or personal property to be used for, gamble on, be a spectator at, or profit from an exhibition, contest, or event featuring the fighting of an animal with another animal during which an animal may be injured, maimed, or killed.

>>(1.2) To willfully and unlawfully, by any means whatsoever, kill, maim, mutilate, or cause great bodily harm or permanent breeding disability to any animal of the genus Equus (horse). A violation of this sub-section presents a serious threat to the public health, safety, and welfare. The Board of County Commissioners has determined that a violation of this sub-section causes irreparable or irreversible harm, and as such, a violation of this sub-section shall be prosecuted to the fullest extent and in accordance with the highest civil penalties and maximum sentence afforded by law.<<

(2) To intentionally commit an act to any animal which results in the cruel death of the animal, or the excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering to the animal, or to cause the same to be done.

(3) To deprive an animal of necessary sustenance, whether by neglect or refusal. For purposes of this section, "necessary sustenance" means: food and water that is of sufficient quantity and nutritive value to meet the minimal daily requirements for the condition and size of the animal as set forth by the commercial food industry or by a licensed veterinarian; food and water that is free of contaminants and vermin and insect infestation; and proper medical attention for any illness, injury, infection, skin disorder, and internal parasite. Feeding a cow on feed that produces impure or unwholesome milk shall be deemed to be a violation of this section.

(4) To deprive an animal of shelter.

(5) To impound or confine an animal in any place and during such confinement: to fail to supply the animal with a sufficient quantity of good and wholesome food and water; to fail to provide the animal with wholesome exercise and change of air; to keep the animal in an enclosure that does not permit the animal to make normal postural movements; to keep the animal in an enclosure that contains excess excreta. Enclosing an animal in a vehicle without adequate ventilation shall be deemed to be a violation of this provision.

(6) For a responsible party to abandon an animal in a street or other public place, or to abandon an animal if it is maimed, infirm, or diseased. For purposes of this section, "abandon" means to forsake an animal for which one is responsible without providing for its care, necessary sustenance, protection, and shelter.

(7) If an animal is known to have or to have been exposed to a contagious or infectious disease: to transfer possession of such animal without first disclosing the condition of the animal to the person to whom the animal is transferred; to knowingly permit such animal to run at large; or to knowingly permit such animal to come into contact with any animal of another person without the other person's knowledge or permission.

(8) To transfer or offer to transfer ownership of any live animal as a prize in any game, drawing, sweepstakes or other promotion.

(9) To intentionally trip, fell, rope, or lasso the legs of a horse by any means for the purpose of entertainment or sport. As used in this subsection, "trip" means any act that consists of the use of any wire, pole, stick, rope, or other apparatus to cause a horse to fall or lose its balance, and "horse" means any animal of any registered breed of the genus Equus, or any recognized hybrid thereof. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply when tripping is used:

(i) To control a horse that is posing an immediate threat to other livestock or human beings;

(ii) For the purpose of identifying ownership of the horse when its ownership is unknown; or

(iii) For the purpose of administering veterinary care to the horse.

* * * *
(c) Enforcement.

* * * *

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 8CC-4 governing the penalties for repeat or continuing violations, for enforcement by civil penalty in accordance with Chapter 8CC of this code, a second violation of this section shall carry a civil penalty of 2.5 times the penalty listed in Section 8CC-10, a third violation shall carry a civil penalty of 3 times the listed penalty, and each subsequent violation shall carry a civil penalty of 3.5 times the listed penalty.


Section 2. Section 8CC-10 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida is hereby amended to read as follows:
Sec. 8CC-10. Schedule of civil penalties.

The following table shows the sections of this Code, as they may be amended from time to time, which may be enforced pursuant to the provisions of this chapter; and the dollar amount of civil penalty for the violation of these sections as they may be amended.

* * * *
Code Section
Description of Violation
Civil Penalty

* * * *

5-4
Cruelty to animals
500.00

Animal fighting or baiting
1,000.00

>>Abuse of equine
5,000.00<<

* * * *


Section 3. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or provision of this ordinance is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected by such invalidity.
Section 4. It is the intention of the Board of County Commissioners, and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this ordinance, including any sunset provision, shall become and be made part of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The sections of this ordinance may be renumbered or relettered to accomplish such intention, and the word “ordinance” may be changed to “section,” “article,” or other appropriate word.
Section 5. This ordinance shall become effective ten (10) days after the date of enactment unless vetoed by the Mayor, and if vetoed, shall become effective only upon an override by this Board.
1 Words stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] shall be deleted. Words underscored and/or >>double arrowed<< constitute the amendment proposed. Remaining provisions are now in effect and remain unchanged.



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