Sarasota lawmaker's felony animal abuse bill signed into law by President Trump

The job is never-ending at Nate's Honor Animal Rescue. 

"We nurse them back to health and give them love and food. If they’re really shy, get them socialized," said Rob Oglesby. 

As the organization's director of development, Rob Oglesby and his team have one goal: "We get to see them to walk out the front door and see them go home to a family." 

Often, the stories of how each dog or cat arrived at Nate's could break your heart. 

"Unfortunately we get more than our fair share of animals that have been abandoned and abused," said Mary Dougherty. 

Mary Dougherty sits on the group's board. She believes a new bill, spearheaded by congressmen Vern Buchanan and Ted Deutch and now signed into law by President Trump, will help prevent animal abuse. 

The bill, called the PACT Act, closes a loophole in a 2010 law that only punished videotaped or recorded abuse. 

"The underlying acts of committing this cruelty towards animals was never addressed. Now this addresses that this helps protect these poor defenseless creatures and also identify the abusers," said Dougherty. 

Nate's Honor Animal Rescue, along with the entire animal welfare community, has been waiting for a bill like the PACT Act to come along, but back in the day the only thing lacking was the backing.

"What you have is a hodgepodge of criminal codes throughout the country. This will make it universal under federal law and consistent," said Dougherty. 

Under the PACT Act, crimes will be punishable with federal charges and up to seven years in prison. Congressman Vern Buchanan calls the bill a win. 

"There's a lot of bad things that are taking place and we are looking to prevent that...I think people will think twice before they do something torturous to an animal," he said.