States across the US are following in more local initiatives launching animal abusers registers, recognising the seriousness of animal abuse. Experts warn that there is a very strong correlation between animal abuse and domestic violence, a thought born out by statistics.
In addition, experts say serial killers often show signs of their future life by torturing animals as children.
Similar to those already in existence for sex offenders, those recorded on the register will have their name, date of birth, offence and conviction date. The registry will also show an expiration date for each individual. First-time animal abusers will be registered for two years and an additional five years will be added for every subsequent animal abuse offence thereafter.
Currently, Tennessee has a statewide register and to date, Suffolk County (the first to bring such an initiative in) and Cook County, Illinois have enacted the initiative at a more local level. Last year New York City overruled Mayor Bloomberg after he vetoed the city’s council who voted to introduce the database. As a result of overruling Bloomberg, New York now plans to have a database covering all five boroughs of the city.
K9 Magazine editor and former dog trainer Ryan O’Meara has applauded the initiative.
When asked if he would support the idea for the UK he said, “A nation of animal lovers, if it truly is worthy of the name, would be prepared to do more to show animal abuse is not just a minor misdemeanour but a crime that sickens most people. At present, our animal welfare laws are not tough enough, not strict enough and as a society, we should be willing and ready to elevate the status of animals, all animals, and show that animal abuse is not tolerated.”