May 16, 2016

Jamie Katz is a licensed private investigator in Fort Lauderdale whose practice focuses on finding missing pets.  Along with her degree in criminal justice, Katz uses a pair of scent-sniffing canines—a Brittany spaniel named Gable and a terrier named Fletcher—to solve problems for pet owners that are typically not high priorities for police.  Katz trained as an apprentice with Lost Pet Professionals, a Nebraska-based organizat...

May 16, 2016

Within the State of Florida, there are 17 wildlife facilities that have earned accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Within the framework of AZA, partner institutions collaborate on numerous large scale conservation initiatives, one of which is known as a Species Survival Plan® (SSP).  The mission of an SSP Program is to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species popu...

May 16, 2016

When most people think of service animals, they think of service dogs.  These dogs are trained to assist people with physical disabilities and are allowed in public places pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act.  They must have proper credentials. Only dogs and miniature horses can qualify as service animals under the ADA. 

But therapy animals, who help people with issues like PTSD and anxiety, are becoming m...

May 16, 2016

Judge Robert Branning and the Children's Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida are working on a proposal that would allow dogs to provide comfort and emotional support to children involved in difficult court cases.  The proposal would provide for dogs not inside the courtroom but outside in the wings where children are sometimes asked to relate tragic events and details to attorneys before trial.  Although Judge Branning believ...

May 16, 2016

Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer sentenced Jorge Luis Garcia on four counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty.  Under section 828.12(1), Florida Statutes (2015), "A person who unnecessarily overloads, overdrives, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, or unnecessarily mutilates, or kills any animal, or causes the same to be done, or carries in or upon any vehicle, or otherwise, any animal in...

May 16, 2016

On May 9th, President Obama signed the National Bison Legacy Act, symbolically declaring the North American bison the national mammal of the United States.  The North American bison, mistakenly called buffaloes, once covered the American Great Plains.  During the 19th century, settlers killed an estimated 50 million bison for food and sport.  Bison populations dwindled to a few hundred but their population has since rebounded...

May 16, 2016

On May 12, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that an Evansville, Indiana, police officer forfeited his qualified immunity in an excessive-force suit in which a K-9 (canine) officer, Axel, was directed to find an alleged perpetrator.  However, Axel trained to use a “bite-and-hold” technique upon hearing the command “find him”—using such a technique Axel was actually trained to bite the first person he...

May 16, 2016

The Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium in Fort Myers desperately needs the financial assistance required to rebuild an aviary which houses a dozen or so injured raptors. Over the last 30 years, the aviary has fallen into disrepair despite constant maintenance. Last October, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Investigator Lar Gregory found the aviary "no longer safe [and] suitable for use." As such, the nature...

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© 2017 by The Florida Bar Animal Law Section. 

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