Albany County, NY Passes Nation’s Third Animal Abuser Registry Law

Posted by Ian Carr, ALDF's Legislative Affairs Associate on October 12, 2011

The Albany County Legislature (New York) voted unanimously yesterday to establish an animal abuser registry, making it the third county in New York (and, indeed, the entire nation) to pass such a law. In the past year, Suffolk County and Rockland County approved similar legislation. With the passage of Albany County’s law, more than 2.1 million people (and millions of animals) now live in jurisdictions protected by animal abuser registries!

The publicly accessible registries allow communities to track the whereabouts of convicted animal abusers and prevent those offenders from acquiring new animals.

To these ends, the Albany County law includes the following provisions:

  • Applies to misdemeanor and felony convictions for animal cruelty, animal fighting, sexual abuse of an animal, and harming service or police animals.
  • Offenders remain on the registry for 10 years following a first offense and for life following any subsequent offenses.
  • Offenders who fail to register are guilty of a misdemeanor and may be incarcerated for up to 1 year and fined up to $1,000.
  • Any person or group selling, offering for adoption, or otherwise transferring animals must check the registry to ensure that the potential owner is not listed on it.
  • Failure to check the registry is a violation and is punishable by a fine of $5,000.

By enacting an animal abuser registry, Albany County sends a clear and unambiguous message that animal abuse will not be tolerated!

8 thoughts on “Albany County, NY Passes Nation’s Third Animal Abuser Registry Law

  1. fran depaolo says:

    this is great news and should be done all over the country, thanks to all who made this happen.

  2. beth says:

    I am so happy that this has been passed.this is such a good thing now people will be more aware of the animal abusers in there area. as a pet owner this makes me very happy. i cant stand how people miss treat there pets and dont care about them if you cant handle a pet dont get one. and if you do get a pet take care of them and make them part of your family and give them the attention that they need and want and adore because thats all they want is a place to call home and be loved.

  3. Anne DiNucci says:

    WTG!!! Albany County. Grew up there, lived there all my life except for the last few years. I am now in Saratoga County. I have passed this article onto the Board here in Saratoga. Maybe they will follow your hearts. May God bless you!

  4. Corinne says:

    Thank you Anne for the inspiration. I too have sent to my home county in FL.

  5. Nancy Mendoza says:

    What great news—but it’s shocking to learn this type of registry is so rare. I plan to see if anyone has taken this on here in Massachusetts. I’d like to help establish a similar law in my own county. It would be useful to learn a few things like: what these counties share that might have made this law possible, who were the major parties involved, how long the process lasted and what it was like, etc..

  6. pam nace says:

    that is so great. im a real animal lover and luv to hear such laws are passed. now if we can get hb 108 nitros law passed we will be doing great!

  7. Christine A. Grabar says:

    I strongly agree with Beth that there is absolutely no excuse for animal abuse! She is right about how people who wish to have a pet or pets need to love and care for them. This includes keeping them in the house with the family since they are supposed to be a part of the family. Dogs should not be left out in backyards and ignored. Cats should never ever be allowed to roam outside loose, all over the place. People think making cats stay in is like imprisoning them — not at all! If cats want to go for walks, that is fine. PetSmart sells both leashes and harnesses so they can be safely walked with their human families just like dogs. I would recommend a harness because cats are clever and can try to slip out of a leash. This way, cats will not get hit by cars, attacked by dogs, or abused by any sick people outside.

    I have two precious cats who are indoors at all times. If they ever wish to go for a walk, I will buy them each a harness. I would never let them loose outside by themselves — not in a million years. They are quite content indoors even though we live in a cozy apartment.

    I am originally from Suffolk County, Long Island (lived there for the first 8 years of my life) and think it is super the way they now have an animal abuser registry! I agree with you all that every county in every single state needs to have this registry.

    I have lived in different parts of the U.S. (due to job transfers over the years) and have seen way too much cruelty take place — it sickens me!

    Keep up the great work, Animal Legal Defense Fund!


  8. Betty Dobson says:

    The Florida Senate is now considering an animal abuse registry and a bill (S B 618) has already been submitted similar to the law in Suffolk County, New York.

    The bill will be named Dexter’s Law as little Dexter, a seven week old kitten, and his brother were beaten by a woman and her two children with an aluminum baseball bat. Dexter’s brother died immediately, but little Dexter fought so hard to live, but eventually his injuries caused him to be put to sleep.

    The woman was charged with a third degree felony, but is still in pre-trial hearings.

    Over 40,000 people signed an online petition asking that she receive the maximum punishment allowed by Florida law.

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