Vote in Suffolk County, New York Would Create Nation’s First Registry for Animal Abusers

Posted on October 8, 2010

CatSuffolk County, NY–Suffolk County lawmakers are voting Tuesday, October 12 on legislation that, if passed, will create the nation’s first animal abuser registry designed to keep convicted abusers away from animals. Sponsored by Majority Leader Jon Cooper (D-Lloyd Harbor), the new law will require adults living in Suffolk County who have been convicted of animal abuse crimes to register on the online registry for five years following their convictions.

In addition to the registry, an accompanying resolution being considered will require animal shelters and those who sell animals to check an individual’s identity on the registry and prohibit them from adopting or selling to anyone found on it.

The national non-profit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) has campaigned across the country to promote registry legislation, and has worked with Legislator Jon Cooper’s office in support of the Suffolk County bill. The ALDF website provides extensive information about registry bills, and allows concerned citizens to contact their own legislators in support of abuser registries. Such registries would help protect animals, pet guardians and communities by preventing repeat offenses from anyone with an established history of abusing animals. Registry bills have been introduced in six states, and legislators in more than a dozen states are currently considering supporting their introduction.

“Suffolk County residents have good reason to be concerned about the whereabouts of animal abusers,” says ALDF Director of Legislative Affairs Stephan Otto. “In story after heartbreaking story, abusers repeat their violent crimes against helpless animals, and often go on to victimize people as well. Suffolk County is on the verge of making history by passing the nation’s first animal abuser registry law.”

ALDF was founded in 1979 with the unique mission of protecting the lives and advancing interests of animals through the legal system. Visit and

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