Florida: Expand Access to Critical Vet Care!

FL H.B. 1117/S.B. 1600—Expands Access to Veterinary Telemedicine
ASPCA Position: Support
Sponsors: Rep. James Vernon Buchanan and Senator Blaise Ingoglia

Florida’s law needs to be fixed! House Bill 1117 and Senate Bill 1600 would expand access to virtual veterinary care and allow veterinarians in the Sunshine State to use this valuable healthcare tool. 

An outdated Florida law blocks veterinarians from practicing veterinary medicine or prescribing medication unless they have recently examined the animal in person. This has been a difficult, often unnecessary obstacle for many pet owners, especially at a time when there is a dangerous shortage of veterinary professionals to serve pets.

Florida needs to pass H.B. 1117/S.B. 1600 to empower licensed veterinarians to connect with pet owners using the internet or video calls, allowing pets to remain in their comfortable home environment.

More About Veterinary Telemedicine

The stress and anxiety of an in-person veterinary visit can often cause pets to exhibit fearful or aggressive behaviors. Also, an in-person veterinary visit can present a difficult barrier for pet owners who have limited access to transportation, limited time off from work, those who live in veterinary deserts, or for those who are disabled and elderly and cannot take pets in themselves without additional help.

Telemedicine, also called virtual or remote appointments, can benefit ALL pet owners and pets—especially anxious, large or arthritic animals, and those living in rural or underserved areas. It even benefits veterinarians, allowing them to continue providing excellent, efficient patient care when staffing shortages make their caseloads heavier than usual.

How You Can Help

Please use the form below to email your state lawmakers TODAY and urge them to advance H.B. 1117/S.B. 1600 to expand access to virtual veterinary care in Florida.