Gov. Scott signs Ponce's Law to crack down on animal abuse

Law named after dog found beaten to death in Ponce Inlet

PONCE INLET, Fla. – Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday signed a bill into law aimed at increasing penalties for animal abusers. 

Ponce's Law increases the chances of abusers going to jail and also allows a judge to bar someone convicted of animal cruelty from owning a pet.

"People, if they're doing this, there's a greater chance they're going to go to prison. The judge is going to be able to say you cannot have another pet," Scott said.

The law is named after Ponce, a Labrador retriever puppy found beaten to death in Ponce Inlet last year. 

Travis Archer, the puppy's owner, was charged with felony animal cruelty and is awaiting trial.

Ponce Inlet Police Chief Frank Fabrizio said the puppy's death sparked a cry for change in the community.

"The public outcry shows that a group of committed and compassionate citizens can work together to create meaningful change," Fabrizio said.

The governor signed the bill at the Ponce Inlet Town Hall Chambers. 

"These individuals, if you abuse an animal, you should never have another pet.  Never," Scott said.

[FLASHBACK VIDEO: Mike DeForest's report]

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