New York City Councilman Peter Vallone recently introduced a bill to help prevent animal abusers from repeating their crimes. If passed, the bill would mandate the creation of a public database containing the names of convicted animal abusers, similar to the sex offender registry. “The list would be provided to animal shelters and pet stores and you would be banned from owning an animal. If you did it would be a misdemeanor punishable up to a year in jail,” the councilman explained to a local TV station.
Right now someone who has abused an animal “can go and get a new dog from a shelter and there’s nothing preventing that. We need to prevent that,” Councilman Vallone told the station.
“New York City residents have good reason to be concerned about the activities of animal abusers, who often go on to repeat their crimes” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “Council Member Vallone’s proposed do-not-adopt database will provide animal shelters and law enforcement with a critical tool to protect the city’s animals from becoming the next victims of a convicted abuser.”
The bill would allow New York City to become the largest area in the country to protect its animals with a registry. Currently New York State is home to the only counties with similar registries; Suffolk, Albany, and Rockland Counties are the only areas in the nation to pass such laws. If City Councilman Peter Vallone gets his way the new registry could help prevent future incidents involving repeat offenders, and set a standard for other large cities to follow.
For more information on animal abuser registries, or to find out how to get a similar bill passed in your neighborhood visit the Animal Legal Defense Fund's website dedicated to the topic, ExposeAnimalAbusers.org.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons -- Dr.g.schmitz