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

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