Florida lawmakers file animal rights act inspired by Dave Bautista's dog

People who are found guilty of the "Penny Bautista Act," would be subject to a non-criminal violation, and up to a $500 fine.

click to enlarge Bautista with “Penny,” who was found with a metal chain embedded into her neck and chin. - PHOTO VIA THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF TAMPA BAY/FACEBOOK
Photo via the Humane Society of Tampa Bay/Facebook
Bautista with “Penny,” who was found with a metal chain embedded into her neck and chin.
Last September, Tampa-based and actor and certified dog daddy Dave Bautista adopted "Penny," a local rescue that made headlines after being found with a chain embedded in her neck.

Now, inspired by Penny, two Florida lawmakers have filed two acts that would make it illegal to keep an unattended dog or a cat tethered.

The identical act, SB1508 and HB1075, were  filed yesterday by State Rep. Emily Slosberg (D-19) and  Sen. Annette Taddeo (D-40),  and are appropriately named the "Penny Bautista Act."
Essentially, the act would ban tying up a dog or cat with a chain, rope, or other means without a person being immediately present.

The bills would also ban tethering a dog or cat outside during severe weather, including hurricanes, thunderstorms, and days experiencing extremely high or cold temperatures.

The proposal would not apply to situations that do not jeopardize an animal's safety, like visiting a vet or being trained for law enforcement.

People who are found guilty under the "Penny Bautista Act," would be subject to a non-criminal violation, and up to a $500 fine. 

"As a Floridian, and adopter of Penny, a dog who has been horribly victimized by the cruelty of being chained, I am in full support of banning this inhumane practice," said Bautista in a statement.

A few months ago, the then 3-month-old Penny was found eating trash in a cemetery, when rescuers found her severely injured with a chain embedded in her neck and chin.

After her story went viral, and a successful surgery, Bautista adopted the pup.

The "Guardians of the Galaxy" actor is no stranger to dog rescues. Back in 2019, Bautista also adopted two local pitbulls.

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About The Author

Colin Wolf

Colin Wolf has been working with weekly newspapers since 2007 and has been the Digital Editor for Creative Loafing Tampa since 2019. He is also the Director of Digital Content Strategy for CL's parent company, Euclid Media Group.
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