Never Say Dye
Q: Is dyeing bunnies and baby chickens for Easter against the law in Florida?
A: With the holiday approaching, this question sparks vivid memories for Answer Man: dyeing hard-boiled eggs as a child, then downing a dozen of them after the egg hunt. But dyeing eggs is one thing; subjecting chicks and rabbits to artificial coloring is considered cruel and unusual punishment. That’s why it’s illegal in Florida to dye birds or rabbits of any age, or any animal that’s less than 12 weeks old. Also, it’s against the law to sell a chick, duckling or other fowl under 4 weeks old or a rabbit under two months.
The Florida law has an interesting history. It had been on the books for nearly 50 years until 2012, when a South Florida lawmaker got it changed to allow groomers to dye show dogs, apparently not realizing that chicks and rabbits would be also be affected. Last year, legislators reinstated the ban, including the age provision.
The law is needed not so much because the dyes pose a health hazard to the young animals—there is nontoxic coloring available. Rather, “These defenseless babies are put in a pet shop window and they become impulse buys,’’ says Don Anthony, communications director of the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. And so they become a child’s pet for a few days, then the family tires of the chick or rabbit, and it soon dies because of rough handling or improper care, Anthony says.
There is a loophole in the law that allows coloring of dogs. But just know that the other neighborhood pooches are likely having a good chuckle when you dye your pet black and gold for a Knights game.
Q: How did Rosalind Avenue get its name?
A: Here’s a little-known fact about one of Orlando’s best-known downtown streets: It was named after the Rosalind Club, a venerable women’s social club that took its name from the character in Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It. (Still open to debate is whether our city was named for the hero of that play or for Orlando Reeves, a Seminole Wars soldier who was allegedly buried near Lake Eola.)
The Rosalind Club still exists: Its century-old headquarters is on Rosalind Avenue across from the main library. The club was started in 1894, meeting in its early years in a building on Orange Avenue, where the Angebilt Hotel now stands. The group built its current headquarters in 1916, along what was then known as West Avenue. In 1919, the city changed the name of the road to Rosalind Avenue at the request of club members.
Answer Man welcomes your questions about the Orlando area. Send queries to email@example.com