Gov. Rick Scott signs law to give harsher punishments for animal abusers

PONCE INLET, Fla. (WSVN) — Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed a new bill into law that will create harsher punishments for people who abuse animals.

According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, the bill, called Ponce’s Law, is named for a 9-month-old Labrador retriever puppy found beaten to death in a man’s backyard.

The law allows a judge to bar someone convicted of animal cruelty from owning a pet and also makes it more likely an offender would go to prison.

Scott said his family has taken in rescue dogs before and two of his favorites were yellow labradors.

“I can’t imagine anybody doing a heinous act like this,” Scott said. “I can’t imagine anybody hurting them.”

Scott had officially signed the bill two weeks ago, on National Puppy Day, but Thursday’s signing was a part of a formal bill-signing ceremony.

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