Animal Rescue Act

It’s called the Animal Rescue Act, but some animal rights activists are urging lawmakers to vote against it. Monday PETA released video of an animal rescue shelter in Madison County, 60 miles east of Tallahassee, where 700 cats were being kept in filth and disease.

They say the animals were victims of hoarding. PETA says if lawmakers pass the Animal Rescue Act pet hoarding will run rampant.

They were supposed to be rescued. But their safe haven became their hell.

Seven hundred cats were found at a rescue shelter 50 miles east of the state capitol, living in filth and disease. An undercover PETA investigator shot this video showing dozens of cats suffering from upper respiratory infections.

The disease was passed from feline to feline. Many of the animals died. PETA says the cats were victims of hoarding.

And the animal rights group warns, hoarding could expand under a well-meaning bill in Tallahassee. The Animal Rights Act would require government shelters to try to find no kill shelters for all its animals before they are euthanized.

Sonya White runs a no kill shelter. She says there isn’t enough room to adequately care for all of Florida’s stray cats and dogs. “We don’t have the resources available.”

White says if the Animal Rescue Act becomes law, people who mean well will open up shelters, but not have the resources to take care of the pets. “There are people who are not capable financially or with other resources to handle rescuing animals.”

Senator Mike Bennett is sponsoring the Animal Rescue Act. He says his bill is about saving cats and dogs, and there’s no proof it would create more hoarding. “We should encourage, instead of euthanizing these animals, encourage people to adopt them.”

Two-thousand animals are euthanized every day in Florida. Bennett and PETA disagree on how to immediately lower that number, but agree spaying and neutering helps.

So far 250 cats have been removed from the shelter in Madison County. The cats are being taken to shelters in Jacksonville. Some of the animals are in such poor health they may have to be euthanized.

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