Animal-Abuser Registry Law

Suffolk County, NY, passes law for first animal-abuse registry.

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A historic law was passed in Suffolk County, NY, October 12, creating the nation’s first animal-abuse registry. Similar to the state’s sex-offender registry, persons convicted of animal abuse will now have to register online for five years after their conviction. The law is meant to protect both animals and guardians from abuse, of which the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has seen a 20 percent increase in Suffolk County since last year. There is an additional resolution to be voted on next month that would require places of animal adoption and sales, such as shelters and pet stores, to check the registry for individual’s names before allowing adoption. The bill was sponsored by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and its national campaign to promote abuser registry legislation. Currently, there are registry bills in six states, and legislators in more than 12 states are considering supporting its introduction.

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