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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Legislature passes bill on fighting dogs

A push to no longer automatically classify dogs involved in fighting rings as "dangerous" was approved by the Florida House Wednesday.

"Before you just go in and slaughter those animals…you must evaluate those dogs," said Rep. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg.

Before the 99-17 vote, some lawmakers said they were concerned families would no longer be notified by animal shelters that the dogs they adopt could be aggressive.

"This bill is about the sorriest bill I've seen come through this House," said Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Keystone Heights.

But the measure had the bipartisan support of unlikely allies, including House co-sponsors Reps. Luis Garcia, D-Miami Beach; Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach; and Scott Randolph, D-Orlando.

SB 722, which unanimously cleared the Senate with a 39-0 vote on Tuesday, now heads to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 4, 2011 10:28am]


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