Best Friends Animal Society Thanks Governor DeSantis for Passage of SB 942 to Prevent Dog Breed and Weight Restrictions in Local Governments and Public Housing Authorities

Media Contact
Hannah Stember : 412-537-0632 or

KANAB, Utah (June 16, 2023) Today, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 942, filed by Senator Alexis Calatayud and substituted for Representative Demi Busatta-Cabrera’s identical House Bill 941, into law. Best Friends Animal Society, a national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025, applauds this move which will prevent local governments and public housing authorities from adopting ordinances or policies designating a dog as dangerous based on solely on its breed, weight, or size. It will take effect October 1, 2023.  


“Studies show breed restrictions don’t make communities safer and a family’s economic status should not prohibit them from keeping their well-behaved dog, regardless of its breed,” said Senator Calatayud, a Republican from Miami.  


Currently in Florida, most public housing authorities and two grandfathered local governments (Sunrise and Miami) impose arbitrary breed, weight and/or size restrictions that undermine families’ housing security and send their dogs to taxpayer funded shelters. Out of 49 public housing authority policies reviewed, 46 have weight restrictions--some as little as 10 pounds--and 29 have breed restrictions.  


“The affordable housing crisis is one of Florida’s most pressing issues. Responsible dog owners shouldn’t face additional hurdles to access housing, nor should they have to surrender their family pet to a shelter for an arbitrary breed or weight restriction,” said Kelsey Gilmore-Futeral, an attorney for Best Friends Animal Society.  


Not only will this act stabilize housing options for Florida families with pets, but it will alleviate some overcrowding in Florida’s animal shelters. According to data from Best Friends, in 2022 more than 25,000 dogs were surrendered by owners to shelters in the state of Florida. Housing was the number one reason cited for dog owner surrenders in 2020 nationwide 


“Most Americans view their pets as members of the family, and arbitrary breed and size barriers in housing force families to choose between keeping their pets or keeping a roof over their heads,” said Representative Busatta Cabrera, a Republican from Miami. “We are facing a national housing shortage, which affects people with limited resources more acutely than others.”  


About Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to around 400,000 last year. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 4,700 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit