More and more U.S. jurisdictions are taking action against animal abuse, with several of them making it now a law to display the name, photo, and addresses of convicted animal offenders. The public will have access to animal offenders registries in the same way that they have access to the online offender registries.
The registries are not yet present in all states, but they are slowly being made a requirement in places like New York (although not yet available to the general public), Illinois, Tennessee, and Florida. The registries also are aimed at preventing people who have committed crimes against animals from doing so again. They also are aimed at preventing violence against humans. Research has shown that animal abusers commit violence against other people at higher rates than usual.
Retailers and animal shelters can now make much more informed decisions about selling or giving away animals to those with a history of abuse, as they will be required by law to have all prospective buyers and adopters read and sign an affidavit that assures that they are not on the registry.
Regular people seeking pet sitters or new homes for their animals will also benefit from these registries, as they will be able to vet the candidates and make better decisions as well. Law enforcement officials will also be able to keep a better tab on the offenders’ whereabouts.
Overall, this is excellent news. Having actual documentation about animal abusers should be an invaluable tool for animal lovers and officials alike. Perhaps the registries can also cause the number of animal abusers to decrease in the time since they would be less likely to want their names on a list that is easily searchable.