Animal Abuser Registry Bill Introduced in Suffolk County, New York

Posted by Stephanie Ulmer, Guest Blogger on August 25, 2010

Suffolk County lawmakers have proposed a county registry that will keep animals away from abusers. According to

“Pet owners, animal rights advocates and even animals gathered outside the Suffolk County Legislature in Hauppauge on Thursday, August 19th, to join Majority Leader Jon Cooper (D-Lloyd Harbor) as he unleashed several animal protection bills. The main component is a database known as the Animal Abuser Registry, which will include the names of people who have been convicted of harmful treatment and torture to animals. Additional legislation would restrict those on the registry from adopting animals and prevent shelters or pet stores from letting those on the registry take a new pet home.”

Cooper states that all animals offenders would be included on the database, and “the bill will require pet stores and animal shelters to check an individual’s identify on the registry. If the shelters and pet stores do not follow the precautions they would face a fine for allowing an animal into the hands of a convicted animal abuser.” It was reported that if the law passes, Suffolk County will be the first municipality in the nation to have an Animal Abuser Registry.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund has long been an advocate of such registries. An abuser registry will answer many questions, such as whether an animal abuser lives in your neighborhood and whether your pets are safe from repeat offenders. They provide protection for our pets and peace of mind for us. ALDF has previously reported that communities have good reason to be concerned about the whereabouts of animal abusers. In story after heartbreaking story, abusers repeat their violent crimes against helpless animals, and often go on to victimize people as well. An animal abuser registry will help prevent such abuse. Hopefully this new law will pass and serve as a model for other such registries across the nation. Let’s all applaud this step!

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