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Animal abusers are being registered like sex offenders in some jurisdictions

  • Stephanie Parkinson from Sulloway and Hollis of Concord brushes down Neptune as Nico waits his turn at Live and Let Live Farm, Inc. in Chichester, a non-profit, volunteer, rehabilitation rescue and sanctuary for animals, some of which have been abused or neglected in the past.


WP Bloomberg
Saturday, September 17, 2016

Starting in November, convicted animal abusers in Hillsborough County, Fla., will be easier to identify. Their names, photos and addresses will be published on a county-run website that is publicly searchable and similar to the online sex offender registries that have proliferated since the 1990s.

The animal abuser registry, passed last week by commissioners in the county, is aimed at preventing people who have harmed animals from doing it again. Retailers and shelters will be required to have prospective pet adopters or purchasers sign an affidavit saying they’re not on the registry. Regular people seeking pet-sitters or new homes for their animals will be able to vet candidates. Law enforcement officials will, at least in theory, be able to keep tabs on offenders’ whereabouts.

The county is the latest in tiny but growing group of U.S. jurisdictions to adopt such registries. A handful of New York counties have them, as does New York City, though that one isn’t accessible to the public. Cook County, Ill., whose county seat is Chicago, recently decided to create one. Tennessee launched the first statewide registry in January, though it still has just three people on its list.

The registries are part of widening efforts in the United States to punish and track animal abusers, who, research has shown, commit violence against people at higher than normal rates. 

Washington Post