Shelters to post euthanization numbers monthly

New state law with no penalties

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Every year, tens of thousands of animals needing a home are killed in Florida. A new state law will inform people how many are put down in their community monthly.

This past legislative session, Jack Cory pushed lawmakers to be kinder to animals. The idea behind the new law that took effect July 1 is to make publically funded animal shelters post how many animals are euthanized monthly. The goal: to educate the public and encourage adoption.

"We need to make sure that throughout Florida, we have correct data and accurate data and make sure its available to the public," said Sen. Bill Montford.

The new state law is a way to keep animals from being euthanized.

"I think the new law can be effective. I think its really important all shelters, rescues, non-profits learn from this," said Erika Leckington, Director of Leon Animal Services.

Across Florida, more animal shelters are becoming no-kill shelters. Their goal is a 90 percent adoption rate. Supporters say the changes will save money.

"There is no excuse that we don't have every county and shelter no-kill," law supporter Jack Cory said.

While there is support for the new law, there are also concerns shelters won't post the numbers. That's because there are no penalties for not doing so.

Citizens will have the ability, under public records law, to be able to enforce it civilly. Supporters are planning to work closely with lawmakers in the upcoming years to strengthen the law and save man's best friend and his arch rival, the cat, from death.

It is estimated that three million animals are euthanized at animal shelters nationwide.