Should there be an Animal-Abuser Registry?

Ellie Mae

Peace B with U
May 24, 2008
10,677
4
OK peeps... here's a REALLY GOOD idea, IMO....

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1969346,00.html?hpt=T2


ASPCA / AP


Cruelty to animals, it is said, is often a precursor to graver crimes. So would there not be some usefulness to a registry of individuals convicted of felony animal abuse? Legislators in California want the Golden State to be the first to establish such a record — just as California was the first in the nation to create a registry of sex offenders. The goal of the registry, which would list crimes against both pets and farm animals, is to make it easier for shelters and animal-adoption groups to identify people who shouldn't be allowed access to animals. It would also be a boon to law enforcement because animal abuse, the bill's authors' say, often escalates to violence against people. Abuses covered in the bill would include the malicious and intentional maiming, mutilation, torture, wounding or killing of a living animal. It would also target pet hoarders and operators of animal-fighting rings (such as dog-baiting and cockfighting) who have felony convictions.

"We think California is primed for this kind of a bill," says state senate majority leader Dean Florez, who introduced the bill in late February. "We've progressed to the point where we as a legislature are moving in a direction of this bill, which is ultimately, How do we in essence prevent repeat offenses when it comes to cruelty to animals in the state of California?" It is an issue that, Florez says, Californians care for deeply. About 60% of California residents own pets, he says; add in farm animals, and 80% of the population has some kind of ownership of animals.

The bill's biggest stumbling block may be the funding it would require. Created with the assistance of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the bill would raise the approximately $500,000 to $1 million necessary for its launch through a 2- or 3-cent tax per pound of pet food, says Florez, a ******** who is chairman of the Food and Agriculture Committee. He estimated that after it's launch, the project could cost between $300,000 to $400,000 a year to maintain. Yet even that relatively small amount has some organizations, including a national pet-product trade group and even the Humane Society, raising concerns. Jennifer Fearing, California senior state director and chief economist for the U.S. Humane Society, supports the measure's aims but worries about whether it can get passed. Says Fearing: "I would be shocked if this legislature is prepared to enact any tax this year, much less one levied on pet owners who are struggling to care for their animals, when many of them are dropping them off at shelters."

Ed Rod, vice president of government affairs for the American Pet Products Association, says the proposal is inherently inequitable."You're looking at pet owners paying for something that's really going to benefit everyone," says Rod. "And animal abuse certainly affects pets, but it also affects agricultural animals as well, and in this case I don't believe there is any provision to impose a fee on livestock feed. The goal we support, certainly, but we think this is kind of a blunt instrument to reach that goal."

There may be other ways to fund the registry. Fearing says the Humane Society supported a similar law in Tennessee that called for those convicted of animal abuse to pay $50 toward the cost of an animal-abusers registry. The bill, however, was defeated. Florez says having offenders pay a fee toward the operation of the registry is also under consideration in the California legislation.
Even if those convicted of animal-abuse felonies were charged a fee, however, that may not be enough to cover the cost of the registry, since only a small percentage of animal-abuse cases result in felony charges, according to Madeline Bernstein, president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles. "The bottom line is that there aren't a lot of felony convictions for animal abuse in the state of California," says Bernstein. The proposal also puts an added burden on local police — operating at a time of state funding cuts — by requiring them to gather registry information on convicted felons and transfer the information to the Department of Justice within three days of collection.

Despite the obstacles, Florez expects to push the legislation as far as it can go. Could he get the two-thirds majority required to turn the bill into law — particularly from the ********** minority that pledged not to raise taxes? "In this case," he says, "the issue is simple. Do ********** members ... really want to be seen on the side of animal abuse? I don't think they do."



Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1969346,00.html?hpt=T2#ixzz0hFpUuvnC
 

he432

sofa king awesome
O.G.
Feb 15, 2008
1,097
0
OH CANADA!
Awesome idea... and the offenders should have to pay for it. Fine them whatever it takes to run this, even if the fines run into the tens of thousands - people who abuse animals are some of the worst members of society and should be treated that way.
 

Irishgal

I run with scissors
O.G.
Apr 22, 2006
15,402
2,996
Long and Low Farms
I support this 100% and offer this idea, once their name is placed on the list the criminal is then taken and dumped into a large vat of boiling oil. Then, we gleefully cross their name off the list, cause they are not going to hurt again.
 

madamefifi

cat hoarder
O.G.
Aug 23, 2006
5,813
740
virginia
"The measure of a society can be how well its people treat its animals."--Mohandas Ghandi

"I think how we treat our animals reflects how we treat eachother...and it's very important that we have a president who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals." --Barack *****

I would really like to see President ***** put his money where his mouth is in this case, wouldn't you? I would support such a law 100% even if it did raise my taxes.
 

dallas

O.G.
Jan 17, 2007
6,087
9
I support this 100% and offer this idea, once their name is placed on the list the criminal is then taken and dumped into a large vat of boiling oil. Then, we gleefully cross their name off the list, cause they are not going to hurt again.
Co-sign. In fact, I shall be happy to volunteer to heat up the oil.
 

olialm1

windy city
Dec 12, 2008
3,059
1
Chicago
I am all for it. I don't think I'll ever be able to grasp/understand why or how people could hurt a harmless animal..
 

pmburk

O.G.
Jul 10, 2008
8,079
3,823
Texas
I read about this yesterday afternoon. As a pet owner and animal lover, I would GLADLY pay a tax for this.

I'm totally supportive and I hope this goes through.
 

vbskull

Window Shopper
O.G.
Oct 18, 2006
2,077
11
New Mexico
I would sign. It is awful that someone convicted of felony animal abuse could just walk into a shelter and adopt another animal. This would help shelters weed out the bad people. Great idea.
 

ipudgybear

Member
Jan 23, 2010
2,700
18
I completely support this 100%. It'll help save a lot of animals' life, especially keeping them away from those who are being abused.