On National Puppy Day, March 23rd, Governor Rick Scott signed Ponce’s Law. The law is named after Ponce, a 9-month old Labrador Retriever puppy that was found beaten to death in the backyard of a home in Ponce Inlet. When the public found out, an organization called Justice For Ponce was formed and received nearly 86,000 signatures on a petition to create stricter laws and enforce harsher punishment for animal abusers.
The new Florida law makes animal cruelty convictions more severe and increases the likelihood that an offender would go to prison. The law also prevents animal-abuse offenders from owning pets or living in a home with pets, even if they are not the owner. Ponce’s law also requires animal shelters to take extra steps and allow reasonable time to locate owners of lost pets.
Though such a sad and unfortunate event, it is great to see that the community was able to come together and create something good out of something so horrible.