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October 13, 2010

New York country creates first animal abuser registry with penalties for failing to register

As detailed in this local article, headlined "Suffolk approves animal abuse registry bill," a prominent county in New York has pioneered a new kind of criminal registry. Here are the basics:

The Suffolk County Legislature unanimously approved a bill Tuesday to create a law establishing a county registry for animal abuse offenders, the first of its kind in the nation.

The new law allows the county to create a public registry of convicted animal abusers, in which the names, aliases, addresses and photographs of animal abusers would compiled in a searchable database, much like the state's sex offender registry.  The convicted abusers would pay a $50 annual fee for upkeep of the registry, and those who fail to register would be charged $1,000 or face jail time.

A public hearing for a second bill, which would require pet stores and animal shelters to check the registry before allowing anyone to purchase or adopt an animal, was tabled for a later date.  If approved, that law would prohibit pet stores from selling an animal to a convicted abuser.

Roy Gross, who heads the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said his group, which deals with over 2,000 animal abuse cases in the county per year, believes the animal abuse registry will help to save animals.  “Most serial killers began as animal abusers,” he said.  “It's a known fact: people who hurt animals hurt people too.”

October 13, 2010 at 08:36 AM | Permalink


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I think there is a typo in the headline:

"New York country" should be "New York county"

Posted by: allan | Oct 13, 2010 12:19:28 PM

As much as I like the idea of keeping an eye on dog fighters and potential serial killers, this feels like overreaching to me. At least it's revenue-neutral maybe...?

Posted by: T.O. | Oct 13, 2010 5:24:52 PM

California proposed a similar bill back in February:


From what I can tell, it seems that the bill is still plodding through the legislative process:


although, given California's fiscal situation, I'm sure there would be howls (ha! no pun intended!) from people about how to fund such a database.

Posted by: Katie Zeitler | Oct 14, 2010 9:40:06 PM

Wow so what's next, ALL felons need to be on a registry I think, that's a good thing they do it for sex offenders, so now I think no matter what you do, if your convicted of a felony Murder, carjacking, gang crimes etc...you should have them all, on a national registry for all to see not just sex offenders and arson.. WAY TO GO New York lets do this all over the USA I say you put ALL felons on a registry or none..let's NOT discriminate against just one group of people. Unless people are into legalized discrimination for only certain groups of people.

Posted by: Equal Treatment for all | Oct 15, 2010 1:51:19 AM

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