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Editor, The Beacon:

To ensure that all of Florida’s pet owners can access veterinary care when and where they need it, Florida must pass the Providing Equity in Telemedicine Services (PETS) Act (HB 1117/SB 1600).

Imagine: Your grandmother in Lafayette County calls you because her 5-month-old Pomeranian, Lucky, has fleas, and she can’t get them under control with over-the-counter products. You call the veterinarian’s office nearest your grandmother’s home, but there are no available appointments for the next three weeks.

Your grandmother doesn’t drive as much as she used to, and the next closest veterinary office is more than two hours away.

Lucky sleeps in the bed, so both Lucky and your grandmother are suffering from flea bites.

If your grandmother lived in nearby Virginia, the solution to this problem would be a simple one: She would call a veterinarian’s office that offers telemedicine services and receive treatment for Lucky virtually. But in Florida, where antiquated laws and regulations block veterinarians from treating pet patients through telemedicine, your grandmother and Lucky don’t have this option.

Thankfully, Florida lawmakers have introduced the PETS Act (HB 1117/SB 1600), which would expand access to virtual veterinary care for all Floridians, including elderly, disabled and rurally located Floridians, who might otherwise struggle to attend in-person appointments.

To keep pets and pet owners in the Sunshine State happy and healthy, I strongly urge my legislators, Rep. Webster Barnaby and Sen. Tom Wright, to pass the PETS Act (HB 1117/SB 1600).

Bob Akerley

DeLand

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