Rockland County, New York Unanimously Approves Animal Abuser Registry!

Posted by Stephan Otto, ALDF's Director of Legislative Affairs on May 18, 2011

Second in the Country to Adopt a Registry

Designed to keep convicted abusers away from animals, Rockland County’s animal abuser registry proposal was approved by a unanimous vote on May 17, 2011. Sponsored by county legislator Gerold M. Bierker, testimony in support of the registry was given by the general public as well as representatives of the Hi-Tor Animal Care Center in Pomona. The measure will become law once signed by county executive C. Scott Vanderhoef.

The online registry is to be maintained by the Rockland County Sheriff’s Department, with administrative costs being offset by a $50 fee paid by the convicted animal abusers who are required to be listed on the registry for four years. In addition to listing convicted abusers, the system seeks to make it a punishable offense for a pet dealer to sell or offer to sell an animal to anyone on the abuser registry.

In October 2010, Suffolk County, NY voted – also unanimously – to create the nation’s first animal abuser registry.

The gravity of animal cruelty is reflected not only in the physical suffering of the animals and the emotional toll on any humans touched by such crimes, but also in the high monetary costs these cases demand from local government agencies, and ultimately the taxpayers.  

The correlation between animal abuse and violence to people is well-documented, and animal abuser registries – in addition to preventing criminal conduct – offer to raise public awareness about the connections between animal cruelty and interpersonal violence.  

A measure which seeks to prevent crime is a measure which seeks, in part, to save taxpayer dollars. In the case of animal hoarders, for example, the recidivism rate approaches 100%. While the number of animals in each of these cases varies dramatically, veterinary care, property renovation and animal housing costs in even a modest hoarding case can be staggering for community budgets. By intervening in criminal abuse cycles, animal abuser registries have the ability to spare shelters and other city/county departments from having to absorb costs generated by repeat offenders.

ALDF drafted “Offender Registration & Community Notification” language for its Model Animal Protection Laws collection in 2001, and continues to encourage its consideration by state and local legislators. Find out more at

7 thoughts on “Rockland County, New York Unanimously Approves Animal Abuser Registry!

  1. MA Moore says:

    Excellent! I hope all counties across the Nation adopt this wonderful tool! Keep up the great work!

  2. Tuck says:



  3. kate says:

    Wonderful! Anyone who abuses animals or people should be exposed the same way sex abusers are exposed. Good job!!

  4. kris says:


  5. vicki hood says:

    Our poor animals. I grew up in SPring Valley. Right on the Monsey line. Hard for me to picture animal abuse in Spring Valley. I saw child abuse. Being an old fart now, i know that that child abuse started with animal abuse. Anyone remember the Minthornes?

  6. vanne hanisch-godoy says:


    It is about time!!!!!! Animals have feelings, intelligence and a soul just like we do!!!!!!! They are a part of our families!!!!! To be protected!!!!

  7. L. R. says:

    I’m so proud of my fellow Rocklanders for putting this in place!

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