Florida pets deserve access to telemedicine | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Thursday’s letters to the editor.
Bills have been filed in the Florida House and Senate that would open the way for widespread telemedicine for pets.
Bills have been filed in the Florida House and Senate that would open the way for widespread telemedicine for pets. [ CAROLINE BREHMAN | Las Vegas Review-Journal ]
Published March 23

Telemedicine for pets

Florida pet owners deserve the freedom to choose veterinary telemedicine for their pets. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the proliferation of virtual human health care options helped me keep myself, my family and my community safe. Even now that daily life has resumed, I value the freedom to see my doctor virtually and from the comfort of my own home. This newfound freedom, however, has forced me to ask: If my family and I can use telemedicine to receive health care, why can’t my pets?

In Florida, outdated state laws block the broad use of veterinary telemedicine, leaving families throughout the state without this safe and convenient option. Changing these laws would help save pet owners time and energy, and it’s what Floridians want. According to polling, the majority of registered Florida voters support expanding access to veterinary telemedicine.

Thankfully, Florida lawmakers have introduced the Providing Equity in Telemedicine Services Act — House Bill 1117 and Senate Bill 1600 — to give Floridians the liberty to receive veterinary care in the way that best suits them and their pets. To make life easier for Florida’s pet owners, I strongly urge lawmakers to pass the PETS Act, and I encourage my fellow Floridians to ask their legislators to do the same.

Lacy Benton, Tampa

Need a better plan

St. Petersburg should support modest plan to increase housing density | Editorial, March 22

Inevitably, the great majority of small, older homes in St. Petersburg will be demolished, either by developers or Mother Nature. The question: With what do we want them to be replaced? If the answer includes mass transit, then we must plan for clusters of housing that will place 10,000 or more residents within walking distance of a station. By the current strategic plan and the proposed rezoning, that is possible in only four urban centers of St. Petersburg. The remainder of the city should remain traditional, single family homes with a few multi-family apartments mixed in.

The wrong approach is to create small clusters of multifamily homes that change the neighborhood without generating the density required for mass transit. The City Council should vote no on the proposed rezoning and go back to the drawing board.

John Deas, St. Petersburg