Leaving Fido to fend for himself outside during a hurricane could soon be a crime in Florida. Senate Bill 1738, which passed the state Senate Agricultural Committee with no opposition last month, makes it a first-degree misdemeanor to leave a dog restrained outside and unattended during a natural disaster or man-made disaster. Offenders could face a $5,000 fine or up to a year in prison. Animal welfare officials say dozens of dogs were left tethered outside when Hurricane Irma hit the state in 2017. Many of them did not survive the storm. Some counties, including Palm Beach, where at least 49 dogs were rescued after being left outside during Hurricane Irma, already have similar laws.
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