Dogs sticking their heads out the window, tongues wagging, enjoying the Florida breeze flowing through their fur could end. That’s because a bill in the Florida Senate would make it illegal.
The ban on dogs sticking their heads out of the window is part of a larger animal welfare bill, Senate Bill 932, intending to protect animals.
If the bill passes and the dog owners get caught, it could mean a ticket for a moving violation. The owner could also be stuck with a thousand-dollar fine or lose their pet.
“They live to feel that wind through their fur and their ears flapping in the wind. It’s an absolutely gorgeous sight,” said Eric Fitzgerald, a dog owner.
It’s a sight Florida lawmakers may take away. A new bill is making its way through the Florida Senate, which would make it illegal to let a dog stick their head out of a moving car’s window.
Like many dogs, it’s Dora’s favorite thing to do. Though she loves to stick her head out the window, her owner, Fitzgerald, isn’t opposed to the law.
“You know, just because she can’t stick her head out the window. I’ll still roll down the window. She’ll still see out of it. You know, it is what it is. I’d rather her be safe and have around for 10 years,” Fitzgerald said.
If the bill becomes law, Fitzgerald must also ensure his dog is restrained while in the car. No more sitting in someone’s lap or riding free in a truck bed.
Clint Belk, who also owns a dog, likes that idea. “The dog gotta be restrained. You never know what could crash into your vehicle. And if it does, that dog’s going to be launched and killed,” said Belk. “I have this that fits on my dog, and he clips into the seatbelt. So he’s, he’s restrained, just like I am.”
Dog with a vest that helps keep them strapped into a car. (Credit: WINK News)
Safety first. It’s something all dog owners can agree on, but if you asked Dora the dog, she’d miss sticking her face into the warm Florida air.
Senate Bill 932 would also prohibit manufacturers who test their products on animals from selling them in Florida. It would ban the declawing of cats and require the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to post a public registry of animal abuse offenders.
If passed, the law would take effect on July 1.