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National Justice For Animals Week—February 18-24, 2024

Special to Seniors Today
The week of February 19th through 25th is National Justice For Animals Week. This is a time when we all come together to celebrate the victories we have made for animals and to pledge to fight even harder in the future. This year’s theme is The Future of Animal Rights: What You Can Do To Help. This is an important topic because each and every one of us can make a difference in the fight for animal rights.

A big win in Florida was Ponce’s Law —a felony aggravated animal cruelty statute (F.S. 828.12). The law enables the courts to sentence abusers to stricter sentences and allows at the court’s discretion, to ban convicted abusers from owning or having contact with animals.

A lady named Debbie Darino worked with lawmaker to create Ponce’s Law after the beating and killing of a 9-month-old black Labrador Retriever puppy named Ponce who lived in Ponce Inlet in 2017.

Debbie is now the President and Foun-der of the Ponce Animal Foundation, Inc. —a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The foundation was created to further help with the welfare of animals that are in need of medical care and in need of emergency treatment.

Their newest project is working to have three kennel runs and a play area built at the Beacon Center—a domestic violence shelter.

The hope is to help save animals and their owners from abusive situations by bringing their beloved pets with them. In doing so, it just may save not one, but two lives. Together the animal and their owner can heal together.
Ponce Animal Foundation Inc.,

Mission Statement

We strive to ensure the health and safety of all animals that are homeless, abused, in natural disasters, indigent, and pets that are the victims of domestic violence.
We accomplish this through both short and long-term immediate actions such as arranging for financial assistance for the needs, costs of veterinary care and emergency medical treatment for animals.

Additionally, we engage with rescue organizations by offering financial assistance on an as needed basis for the medical care of animals.

If you would like to donate, visit the or mail checks made payable to: The Ponce Animal Foundation, Inc. to P.O. Box 291893, Port Orange, FL 32129.