Wouldn't you want to know if a violent or repeat animal abuser were living next door to you and your family? Animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people and four times more likely to commit property crimes than are individuals without a history of animal abuse.
Convicted animal abusers pose a real, ongoing threat to your pets, your family, and your community. A proposed abuser registry legislation in Wisconsin would require mandatory registration and community notification for convicted animal abusers. These laws would make a dramatic difference in keeping offenders away from potential new victims by allowing animal shelters and humane societies to more thoroughly screen potential adopters—and by alerting the public to their whereabouts.
Does an Animal Abuser Live in Your Neighborhood?
Communities have good reason to be concerned about the whereabouts of animal abusers.
Are you getting tired of all the news stories about criminal acts of animal abuse. Each story seems to be worse than the next.
Sometimes the abusers are convicted under their state animal abuse laws, but once they've served their sentence there often is nothing to prevent them from adopting or buying another animal.
The creation of an animal abuse registry could help to prevent those convicted of animal fighting, malnourishment, aggravated cruelty or abandonment from adopting or purchasing another animal.
The animal abusers registry would work much like sex offender registries, requiring convicted animal abusers to register with the city health department. Names would be accessible to law enforcement, pet stores and animal shelters, and failure to register would be punishable offense. Convicted abusers would remain in the registry for five years after a first offense and longer for any subsequent convictions. Stiff penalties would also be put in place for pet stores, animal shelters, their employees and volunteers who give or sell animals to anyone listed in the registry.
Currently, nine states legislatures are considering similar legislation. The Animal Legal Defense Fund, and Petabuse.com already maintains a registry of over 16,000 animal abusers that is open to the public and is updated daily. Despite widespread support, however, the legislation has faced resistance from concerned legislators, who question not only whether the registries would actually be effective in combating abuse, but violating the privacy rights of registered offenders.
Many abusers often sadly repeat their violent crimes against helpless animals — and then often go on to victimize people as well.
Most serial killers begin by victimizing animals.
Abuser registries are a good common sense idea.
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