VICTORY for People, Pets, Shelters and Vets in Florida!

June 24, 2024

corgi at a computer

On Friday, June 21, Floridians finally received the good news they fought hard for: The PETS Act was signed into law!

The Providing Equity in Telehealth Services (“PETS”) Act will modernize Florida’s veterinary laws to give people more open access to use telehealth technology for veterinary medicine. Thanks to this new law, Florida pet owners will be able connect with veterinarians from their smartphones or computers, reducing the need for in-person visits in certain circumstances.

This groundbreaking moment is long overdue. In-person veterinary visits have often been a difficult barrier for pet owners and a source of extreme stress for pets. Remote veterinary care benefits people who have limited access to transportation or minimal time off from work. It also helps those who live in veterinary deserts, reside in the state part-time like many of Florida’s “snowbirds,” or require assistance taking their pets to the clinic.

It’s far too common for pets to hide, shake uncontrollably, or lash out in fear at the veterinary clinic; with telehealth appointments, these pets can receive more care from the comfort of their homes.

The ASPCA and our dedicated supporters have been working to pass the PETS Act for years, and this persistence has paid off. The bill received overwhelming support throughout the 2024 legislative session, unanimously passing the Florida State Legislature in March. Just three months later, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed it into law. The PETS Act will take effect on July 1, 2024.

In all 50 states, human medical providers safely and effectively use telehealth technology to treat new and existing patients, regardless of their age. This approach should be readily available within the veterinary field, but many states have outdated laws that prevent veterinarians from using it to treat patients unless they first examine the animal in person. This burdensome and often unnecessary requirement prevents many pets from receiving veterinary care. Until this year, Florida was one of these states, but now we can celebrate a new and exciting chapter for veterinary care in the Sunshine State.

Learn more about the importance and many benefits of veterinary telehealth and how the ASPCA is working to ensure that people, pets and vets in all 50 states have access to it.