TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — Stray animals would have to be sent to non-profit no-kill animal rescue organizations instead of euthanized by public shelters under a bill filed in the Legislature by a Republican senator.

Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, said his proposed measure (SB 818) would not only prevent the killing of animals, it would save taxpayer dollars by transferring the cost of keeping the animals to the non-profit sector.

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“Florida has an opportunity to join other states setting a nationwide example by passing a bill that could save thousands of animals and help direct dollars toward other important initiatives,” Bennett said in a statement. “When we are not using dollars to care for, kill and dispose of animals, there is an immediate cost savings to local governments.”

The bill would have exceptions for dogs ruled dangerous or suffering animals.

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Meanwhile, Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, filed a bill (HB 527) this week that would increase spending on low-cost spay and neuter programs around the state. The measurement is also aimed at cutting the $30 million or so a year that local governments spend on euthanasia.

“This bill would use violations of animal control ordinances to fund the cost of spay and neuter programs,” Randolph said. “It is crucial that we begin looking at innovative and cost-effective measures that reduce the financial burden for middle class Floridians.”

That bill will be carried in the Senate as SB 488 by Sen. Nan Rich, D-Weston.

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“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”