First U.S. Animal Abuser Registry Makes Convicts Public

Monday, Suffolk County activates the first animal abuser registry in the United States, which will make public the identities of convicted animal abusers. The internet registry will display their names, addresses and photographs.

The law requires pet stores, breeders and animal shelters to check the registry and not sell or adopt animals to anyone on it, according to the Animal Law Coalition. Abusers will stay on the registry for five years each, and will face jail time or fines if they do not sign up for and renew their registrations throughout that period.

The Coalition reports that in Suffolk County, “animal abuse” includes animal fighting; overdriving, torturing and injuring animals; failing to provide proper sustenance; aggravated cruelty to animals; abandoning animals; interfering with or injuring certain domestic animals; and harming a service animal.

The†Animal Legal Defense Fund is leading a nationwide effort to pass more laws like Suffolk County’s.†If registries like this were widespread, they could make a real difference in preventing animal cruelty. Without them, convicted animal abusers, including hoarders, can easily evade court sentences forbidding them from owning animals by moving to a different county or state. Nationwide registries would make it much harder for them to acquire new animals just by changing their location.

Registries like Suffolk County’s could also prevent crimes that hurt humans. A person who abuses or kills animals is five times more likely to commit violence against humans and four times more likely to commit property crimes, according to a Business Week report on a 1997 study by Northeastern University and the Massachusetts SPCA.

Other counties and states have considered similar registries and some plan to implement them, but last February Colorado voted down a law to create one. Objections to the registries include concerns about the civil rights of animal abusers and the possibility that exposure to the public will make offenders even less likely to cooperate with authorities that otherwise might be able to keep them from harming other animals.


Related Stories:

Nationís First Animal Abuser Registry Approved In Suffolk County

Animal Cruelty: Who is to Blame?

Support Tougher Animal Cruelty Laws in Canada

Photo Credit: elycefeliz


Karen B.
Karen B5 years ago

Good.!! Animals need all the help, they can get.!!

aileen cheetham
AILEEN C5 years ago

Wish we had car2 in the UK so I could sign and make a difference. It is marvellous

jaipal f.
Isabelle Fremont5 years ago

This law should become nationwide as respect for animals reflects how civil is the community we live in.

Mary Beth M.
MaryBeth M5 years ago

Hope it helps, we need it everywhere. As with any other law, enforcement will be a key issue.

N Towle
Nan Towle5 years ago

This is a long time in coming. Abusers, cowards, bullies, sociopaths like anonymity.
Each state needs to show that if you abuse, neglect, torture or murder innocent, defenseless, sentient beings, it will not be tolerated. You will be punished, your face will be shown to all and you will have to face real consequences for your actions.

All states should also be connected into a National Data Base as well.

Antje F.
a f5 years ago

Hurrah ! It would be good to know if the person who wants to by/adopt a pet has a history of pet abuse. It would be one more thing to help prevent a pet from being in the wrong hands to begin with.

Dale Overall

An idea long overdue and required in most jurisdictions. Protection for pets and other animals should be law and a five year time limit for being on the registry seems far too brief.
While Tolga seems to believe that human=evil that is a somewhat trite, there are many people who care about and are kind to animals world wide, just as there are small abusive segments of society that must be watched and regulated closely.

Vanessa Wolfe
Vanessa W5 years ago

A small victory at last. This law needs to be nation wide without a doubt. A person who abuses an animal should be named and shamed, most know what they are doing. Do the crime you do the time. I hope the laws are strict and followed through to their full capacity. I have have no sympathy at all for animal abusers.

Nadine M.
Nadine McFarland5 years ago

And I definitely signed the petition!!!!

Nadine M.
Nadine McFarland5 years ago

Every state needs to pass this law, and not shirk making sure it is followed to the letter. Anyone that abuses animals has no civil rights in my own opinion. Animal abuse leads to other abuses, which can lead to a child or even an adult being murdered by the animal abuser, as it takes a sick person to abuse an animal that can not defend itself from these actions, and has no speech to ask for help. For any state not to pass this tells me that they are very lax in keeping these evil, sick people from becoming murderers, or child molesters. The very idea that exposing these people will make them less likely to cooperate with authorities is ludicrous....when have law breakers ever cooperated with authorities. What an idiotic idea that is. I can just see animal abusers running into the authorities offices to report themselves for animal abuse.Yeah right, and murderers and child molesters will be right behind them.