Rep. Corvese Introduces Legislation to Create Registry for Animal Abusers
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
“People who have abused animals should not be allowed to own other animals. Pets are utterly defenseless, and allowing those who are known to abuse them to have more of them is subjecting those animals to an almost-certain fate of pain, suffering and perhaps death. This is a common-sense measure to prevent known abusers from having easy access to more likely victims,” said Corvese.
Under the legislation the registry would be maintained by the Attorney General’s office, and would include all animal abusers who are convicted or plead guilty or nolo contendere after the legislation has been enacted.
The abuser’s information would be on the registry for 15 years after his or her release from incarceration, or upon conviction if no jail time is served.
Those convicted of a second animal abuse charge would be on the registry for life.
All convicted animal abusers would have five days from release or conviction to register and must pay a one-time $125 fee for the administration and maintenance of the online registry.
The legislation requires the registry be made available on the Attorney General’s website, and requires that animal shelters and pet sellers check the registry before allowing the sale or adoption of any animal to confirm that the animal buyer is not on it, or face a fine of up to $1,000.
Any animal abuser who fails to register is subject to a misdemeanor conviction punishable by incarceration of no more than one year and a fine not to exceed more than $1,000.
The same punishment applies for abusers on the registry who are caught owning or possessing an animal, with the exception of farm animals for farmers and service animals for people with disabilities.
Corvese added, “An animal abuse registry would save animals from needless suffering. It would also provide assistance and peace of mind to the dedicated people who work to find homes for homeless animals. The last thing they want is to send a pet into the arms of an abuser, and this will give them a tool to avoid that situation.
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