One For The Animals

Florida, Colorado and Arizona are proposing an online registry for animal abusers and the director of legislative affairs for The Animal Legal Defense Fund expect similar proposals in several other states. Suffolk County on Long Island created a registry in 2010 which is only now about to go up and other New York counties have followed. In the Suffolk registry abusers will appear for five years, and failure to register may lead to up to a year in jail. The issue in many of the proposals is not whether or not there ought to be a registry, but the terms and conditions under which it would operate. In Florida the proposal includes a $50 yearly fee to fund it and to be paid by the abuser. As is the case for sex offenders registries, names, pictures and addresses would be posted.
I have strong reservations about such public registries and their unintended consequences leading to offenders disappearing or being unable to find housing and employment. While my reservations extend to animal abusers, the idea of registries elevates the crime of abusing animals and that’s definitely to the good of all.