The San Juan Daily Star
Bill seeks to provide civil remedies in cases of animal abuse
By The Star Staff
Senators Carmelo Ríos Santiago and Migdalia González filed Senate Bill 896, creating the “Law of Civil Remedies for the Protection of Animals” to combat mistreatment, cruelty, abandonment, and animal abuse on the island.
“Animal abuse is a serious social problem that has been rising. It includes behaviors that cause unnecessary pain or stress to the animal. These can range from negligence in basic care to death. On the other hand, the defense of animals is based on a principle of tolerance and respect towards life, both human and non-human”, according to the Statement of Motives of the bill.
This new law would allow any person, even one who is not the guardian or owner of an animal, to act as a plaintiff to ensure its protection.
When, in the judgment of the Court, in a sworn complaint or supported by an affidavit, specific facts are alleged that establish that an act of cruelty, abandonment, or abuse has occurred against an animal, the Court may issue a provisional custody order, if so requested by the plaintiff, granting them the right to provide proper care to the animal.
The Provisional Custody order will provide for a hearing to be held within ten days from the date the order is issued for the defendant to show cause why a preliminary injunction should not be given while the rights of all parties are being ventilated. Said term may be extended if the Court determines the existence of extraordinary circumstances before the expiration of the duration of the preliminary injunction.