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U.S. States Introducing Animal Abuse Registry Legislation

Accepted submission by takyon at 2018-03-04 00:00:59
Digital Liberty

Eleven U.S. states have pending animal abuse registry legislation [ap.org]:

Son of Sam, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and the Columbine High School shooters are among the infamous criminals who had a history of hurting animals before they went on to target humans, a tendency that's part of what's behind a movement to create public online registries of known animal abusers.

New York is among 11 states with animal abuse registry bills pending in their legislatures, following Tennessee, which started its in 2016 along with a growing number of municipalities in recent years, including New York City, and the counties that include Chicago and Tampa, Florida.

"Animal abuse is a bridge crime," said the sponsor of New York's bill, Republican state Sen. Jim Tedisco, who noted that Nikolas Cruz, accused of killing 17 people in the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting on Feb. 14, reportedly also had a history [apnews.com] of shooting small animals.

While the main goal of collecting names of convicted animal abusers is to prevent them from being able to adopt or purchase other animals, registry backers say such lists could also be a way to raise red flags about people who may commit other violent crimes ranging from domestic violence to mass shootings. But some animal welfare advocates, mostly notably the ASPCA, question how effective they can really be.


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