Legislative Updates & Background

Posted on February 12, 2010

The Animal Legal Defense Fund drafted and added an "Offender Registration and Community Notification" section to ALDF’s model laws collection in 2001. It was based on the statutory equivalents, that all state have since adopted, dubbed "Megan’s Laws" that deal with sex offenders. Since then a number of jurisdictions have followed this model concept introducing legislation to accomplish this goal with respect to animal abusers:

2013:

Arizona SB 1161
Connecticut HB 5205
New York SB1594
New York A2905
New York
Hawaii SB 528
Maine HP 916
Massachusetts HB 1335
Massachusetts HB 1416
Massachusetts SB 807
Oregon  HB 2394
Pennsylvania HB 265
Pennsylvania SB 320
South Carolina HB 3045
Texas HB 3747
Vermont SB 9

Virginia HB 2242
Washington HB 1786
West Virginia SB 468

2012: Arizona HB 2310
Colorado HB12-1087
Florida SB 618
Maryland SB 301
Michigan HB 5402
Michigan HB 5403
New Jersey SB 580
New Jersey SB 1505
New Jersey A 1933
Westchester County, New York Chapter 680 (enacted October 21, 2012)
New York SB 6875
New York SB 2015
Tennessee HB 3483
Tennessee SB 3149
2011: Alabama HB 225
Connecticut HB 5013
Connecticut HB 5185
Connecticut SB 871
Connecticut HB 5362
Connecticut HB 5396
Florida SB 618
Hawaii SB 266
Hawaii SB 839
Hawaii HB 361
Hawaii HB 644
Maine LD 760 (HP 567)
Massachusetts  H 2228
Massachusetts  S 876
Nevada AB 118
New Hampshire HB 526
New York A 1766*
New York A 1506 / S 3804
New York A 0299 / S 2015
New York A 5373
New York S 3971*
Albany County, New York No. K-2011 [Enacted]††
Rockland County, New York No. 9234 [Enacted]†
Ulster County, New York No. 3
Oregon HB 2742
Pennsylvania SB 921
Rhode Island SB 141
South Carolina S 226
Tennessee HB 1743 / SB 1590
Texas SB 779 [Passed Senate]
Vermont S 41
Virginia HB 1930
Washington SB 5144 / HB 1800
2010: California SB 1277
Louisiana HB 201
New Jersey S 2018 / A 3082
New Jersey S 2049 / A 2917
New Jersey S 2253 / A 1817
New York A 10387
New York A 10998
New York A 11217
Pennsylvania HB 2441
Rhode Island H 7768
Suffolk County, New York No.1879-2010 [Enacted]**
2009: New York A 6684 / S 4328*
Tennessee HB 385 / SB 182
2008: New Jersey A 3552
Tennessee SB 2676 / HB 2803 [Passed Senate]
2007: Rhode Island H 5767 / S 0524
2005: Rhode Island H 5433
2004: Rhode Island H 7789
2003: Rhode Island H 5817
2002: Colorado SB 02-048
2001: “Offender Registry and Community Notification” model law drafted by the Animal Legal Defense Fund – first-of-its-kind in the nation.

* Establishes an animal abuse crime database which would include the names of offenders.

** First jurisdiction in the nation to enact an abuser registry (10-12-10). Companion legislation (No. 1952-2010) would prohibit animal shelters & pet dealers from adopting or selling animals to those on the abuser registry.
Second jurisdiction in the nation to enact an abuser registry (5-17-11). The law also prohibits pet dealers from selling animals to those on the abuser registry.
†† Third jurisdiction in the nation to enact an abuser registry (10-11-11). The law also requires anyone selling, offering for adoption, or otherwise transferring animals to check the registry to ensure that the potential owner is not listed on it.

On October 12, 2010, Suffolk County, New York, became the first jurisdiction in the world to enact an animal abuser registry. On May 17, 2011, New York’s Rockland County animal abuser registry proposal was approved by a unanimous vote. On October 11, 2011, Albany County, New York, became the third jurisdiction to approve a registry. The time is ripe for other counties and states to enact similar legislation.

Legislators seeking additional information should contact the Animal Legal Defense Fund at: legislation@aldf.org.

ALDF’s Abuser Registry Model Law
"Offender
Registration and Community Notification" PDF Download

Majority Leader Jon Cooper “I’m extremely proud that Suffolk County has established the nation’s first animal abuser registry and I applaud the ALDF for all their pioneering hard work on this important issue over the years. As was the case with my landmark bills that prohibited the use of hand-held cell phones while driving and banned the sale of the deadly dietary supplement ephedra, I hope that states across America will use our success as the impetus to enact similar laws. A society is judged by the way it treats those who are most vulnerable, and the creation of this registry sends a strong message that all of God’s creatures deserve protection from torture and abuse.”

Majority Leader Jon Cooper, Lloyd Harbor, New York

Senator Dean Florez “We operate shelters in the hopes of giving abandoned pets a second
chance at a loving home, not subjecting them to lives of continued
abuse and neglect. A registry of abusers would help
ensure animals are not being adopted out to convicted abusers, end the
cycle of abuse and increase the likelihood of finding these pets the
forever home they deserve.”

Former Senator Dean Florez, 16th District, California

Representative Walker Hines "I am proud to author House Bill 201, which will put Louisiana at the forefront of notifying citizens throughout the State of the whereabouts of convicted animal abusers. The goal of the legislation is to prevent future animal abuse and help encourage residents to remain vigilant of their neighbors."

Representative Walker Hines, 95th District, Louisiana

Representative Peter Lewiss “I was very proud to lead the first initiative for public registries for animal abusers in the nation. I encourage all other states to pass similar laws to expose the very serious offense of animal abuse.”

Representative Peter Lewiss, 37th District, Rhode Island (1998-2008)

Representative Janis Sontany "There are so many things that need to be changed about how animals
are viewed and treated by some people, the issues just keep coming up. 
Last year we were able to pass our Commercial Breeder Act of 2009
regrettably because there were so many puppy mills found in our state.

The
need for an Animal Abuser Registry is so very much needed not only to
protect animals but to protect our citizens. Everyone should know if
there is an animal abuser in their community not only to protect our
animals, but to also protect our children. It is a proven fact that
many serial killers started out abusing animals. Also, it is important
to know if there is someone in your neighborhood that fights animals
not only to protect their animals but also to protect our children
because at any animal fight, you will find drugs, gambling and
regrettably often children are present."

Representative Janis Sontany, 53rd District, Tennessee

Where Are The Animal Abusers In Your Community?

View or download the 8.5" x 11" PDF of this poster.