Florida Bill Would Ban Dogs From Sticking their Heads Out of Car Windows, Among Other Restrictions

A proposed bill in Florida would make it illegal for a dog to sit/stand in a driver’s lap or poke its head out of the windows of a moving vehicle, among several other restrictions. The said intent of Senate Bill 932, filed by state Sen. Lauren Book (D-Broward), is to protect animals on several fronts. It includes provisions that would make it illegal to transport canines “on the running board, fender, hood, or roof of a motor vehicle,” as well as in a trunk or enclosed cargo space or a vehicle being towed.

On top of those restrictions, the bill would also require dogs to be secured in a travel crate suitable for the animal’s size while in a motor vehicle operated on a public roadway, be restrained with a safety harness or seat belt other than a neck restraint, or be under the physical control of someone other than the driver while in a vehicle.

dog riding in car
Photo: Pixabay/Kommunikation_ERG

As to riding in open truck beds, they’d first need to be placed in a well-ventilated travel crate that allows them solid footing and protection from bad weather and direct sunlight. Just like with air travel, approved crates or kennels would need to be spacious enough for the animal to comfortably stand, sit, and turn around in, as well as lie down in a natural position. Additionally, the crate would need to be properly secured within the bed of the truck.

Anyone caught violating the law, if it were to pass, would face potential moving violations, although the charges purportedly wouldn’t count as a criminal traffic offense. And it doesn’t end there. Like so many bills, there’s a lot more tacked on, which can make it difficult to get proposals like these passed. The bill would also set rules for cat owners and cosmetic testing on animals.

dog in pickup truck
Photo: Pixabay/st-marco

Declawing a cat would become illegal unless it is for necessary medical therapy. Otherwise, the state would be able to fine the owner $1,000 for declawing or partially declawing a cat. There’s a provision in the text that would allow courts to ban convicted offenders from owning animals as a condition of their probation.

The suggested bans on cosmetic testing would include using “any article intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on” or otherwise intended for humans instead of animals, like cleansers, beauty treatments, or products that allegedly “promote attractiveness” or for altering one’s appearance. As written, product manufacturers would be prohibited from applying any of the above products on “live, nonhuman vertebrate” animals.

cat claws
Photo: Pixabay/guvo59

The bill would create a $5,000 initial penalty, as well as additional $1,000 penalties for violators of the animal testing prohibition for each day of a continued violation. Should the bill pass both chambers of the Florida Legislature and gain the governor’s approval, which seems unlikely, it would take effect on Oct. 1, 2023. While many will commend the various proposals set forth, there are likely to be many that will be less enthusiastic about some of the restrictions.

People, Pets & Planet

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