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Animal Abusers May Be Required To Register As Offenders

Animal rights activists in some states are celebrating the possibility that new laws may be coming into effect, and they would help save countless animals in the future from abuse and neglect. Those who are convicted of animal abuse or neglect may soon be put on a registry for animal abusers.

Just like the sex offender registry, this will help people defend themselves (and animals) against potential predators.

There are nearly 2,000 cases of animal abuse reported in the U.S. every year - and authorities fear that the reported cases are just the tip of the iceberg. Sadly, most local governments don't take animal neglect and abuse as seriously as other crimes, so a lot of times even those who are convicted just get a slap on the wrists.

They're then free to go off and get a new pet, even though they don't deserve it.

Unfortunately, in the past, there has been no way for people to know if an animal they're giving away or selling is going to someone with a history of animal abuse.

Breeders, pet shops, shelters and even individual pet owners who were just hoping to give an unexpected litter of puppies or kitties away to a kind family didn't have the power or resources to find out a potential pet buyer or adopter's history.

Tennessee began a process that may change that problem. The state started an animal abuse registry.

Republican Sen. Richard Briggs introduced a bill in 2015 to start an Animal Abuse Registry in the state. The list of offenders are displayed on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's website and the public has access to the list.

"Aggravated animal abuse is something that anyone who cares for animals will say this is just not right,” said Briggs.

The bill passed into law a year ago. Not only is it protecting animals in Tennessee, but it's catching on. Cities like New York and Tampa have also adopted citywide registries of the same kind, and everyone convicted of animal cruelty is listed.

In some states, the information isn't available online, but residents can go to the county clerk's office and request it. They can obtain an offender's full name, photo, and information about their conviction.

The registry is not only expected to help with animal abuse, authorities say. It might actually help in cases of domestic violence and crime.

“We know there is a very strong correlation between animal abuse and domestic violence,” said Suffolk County legislator Jon Cooper said. “Almost every serial killer starts out by torturing animals, so in a strange sense we could end up protecting the lives of people.”

More cities are expected to jump on the bandwagon, and several states are considering adopting such registries, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Texas and Oregon. Animal rights activists are hoping that every state adopts the law, or that it becomes a Federal registry.

The only bad thing about this law is that it wasn’t thought of sooner. It could go a long way in protecting innocent animals from falling into the wrong hands. Even if you’re not a pet lover, it looks like it could even save the lives of people, so documenting these crimes may be well worth the effort.

Source: Animal Channel
Photo: Rebrn, Arizona Humane Society, tn.gov, YouTube

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