A Registry for Animal Abusers: IsThis Is a Good Idea or Not Worth The Expense?
Last weekend I came across an article about starting a registry for people convicted of animal abuse much like what we have now with sex offenders. The State of California is now considering a bill that would set up a registry for animal abusers. Tennessee, New York and Louisiana are also considering such registries. These registries would include people convicted of any type of animal cruelty including mutilating, torturing, hoarding and animal fighting.
Naturally, some politicians in California are against such a registry saying that they are afraid of elevating animals to the same level as children, or that such a database would cost too much since the fines leveled against animal abusers are currently not enough to justify the expense of such a registry. Supporters say that having such a registry would help give the public awareness that people like this are living in their neighborhoods.
There have been many studies done over the years about the link between animal abuse and child abuse and violent crimes against people. I don’t think anyone can deny that this link has now been proven. Violent crimes are usually committed by a person who started out abusing animals. The American Humane Association www.americanhumane.org has been studying this issue for years. This organization has been working hard to create programs where victims of domestic violence can bring their animals to a shelter since most victims will stay and endure more violence to protect the animals in the household. They have also worked to strengthen laws across this country to prosecute animal abusers. It makes perfect sense that there should be a tracking database so each and every one of us can find information on individuals who commit animal abuse.
Alison Gianotto has created a website www.pet-abuse.com devoted to just such a registry. This website in full of information on animal abuse cases across the country and what you can do to report and fight abuse in your area. She started this site after her neighbor’s cat was taken and set on fire a few years ago.
We need to realize that by helping to protect animals from abuse we are helping protect our own families from potential violence. We also need to make this clear to our elected officials. For too long now, politicians have been slow to extend strict laws for crimes against animals, but by doing this, they create a situation where these criminals are let off the hook and then eventually they move on to human victims.
Personally, I think this registry could be a great tool in protecting my family and property against a potentially violent criminal. It would be another way citizens could be more aware of what is happening in their communities and would strengthen their ability to protect themselves, their children and defenseless animals from violent predators.
Please remember, if you see animal abuse or neglect, it is your responsibility to our society to report this to the appropriate authorities. If someone were abusing your children you would be very upset if you learned that someone knew about it and did not care enough to alert authorities.