13 October 2010

New York creates nation's first registry for animal abusers

On October 12 legislators in Suffolk County, New York unanimously approved a measure to create the nation’s first animal abuse registry.

The measure will require those convicted of inhumane treatment and torture of animals to register their names, aliases, addresses and submit a photograph for the registry at least five days after their conviction or release from incarceration. The registry will be administered by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and will be available to the public.

Convicted animal abuser's names and information will stay on the register for five years and will require offenders to update each time they move.

In addition to the registry, an accompanying resolution up for consideration next month would require pet stores, breeders and animal shelters to prohibit selling or giving animals to anyone on the registry.

Roy Gross, who heads the Suffolk County SPCA, said he hopes the bill will encourage other states to enact similar measures to protect animals.

“This bill will provide the ammunition needed to fight the ongoing war against animal abusers,” said Gross.

The author of the bill, Majority Leader Jon Cooper (D-Lloyd Harbor) said, “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."

Robin Lawless | @robmlaw
Robin lives in NYC with her cat Maggie where she follows a vegetarian lifestyle, practices yoga, and volunteers at Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Follow Robin on Facebook

Photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/corb0


  1. This is great! a move in the right direction :)

  2. I agree Heather is a step in the right direction. Hopefully more laws like this one will be enacted across the nation.

  3. Hallelujah!

  4. This is great news! NY seems to be making all the right moves lately... this is on the heels of the ban of allowing food stamps to be used to purchase soda... Yay NY.. my home state :))

  5. Good! I think this should have been done a long time ago. Hope that the rest of the country will follow the lead.

  6. Way to go, Jon Cooper! This is true leadership of the highest order.

    I balked when I read that Ed "I'm In The Money" Sayres will be maintaining the list, however.

    I hope the ASPCA puts this list online and allows everyone free and easy access. AND that the list is continually updated.

    Maybe in 20 years my backwards state of Minnesota will see the value in this. :-(

  7. Abuser registry blurb

    Citizens around the country should be concerned about the threats posed by convicted abusers to the animals and the humans in their communities. That’s why the Animal Legal Defense Fund has been promoting abuser registry legislation for the past decade. To urge your own legislators to push for an abuser registry local to you, sign the petition at ALDF’s website, www.ExposeAnimalAbusers.org.