Newsletter subscribe

Features, National, Politics, Top Stories

Animal Abusers Must Now Register Not Unlike Sex Offenders

Posted: January 5, 2018 at 11:00 am   /   by

Animal cruelty is a serious problem that occurs all over the world. According to statistics, “The average number of reported animal abuse cases is 1,920 per year in the United States alone” (Statistic Brain). Animal right activists fight daily to protect these abused animals and bring the offenders to justice. However, the fight is real and difficult to win since many of the abusers are multiple offenders. Thankfully, a new law adopted by many states and cities just handed activists a major victory. Simply put, “Animal abusers will now be registered on a blacklist, similar to a sex offender list” (Maes).

Once a person is found guilty of animal abuse, he must register as an animal abuser. “First-time offenders will be included in the registry for two years. Convicted abusers who continue with their practice after two years will have an additional five years in the registry for every subsequent offense” (Davis). If one fails to register, he is fined one thousand dollars and sentenced to a maximum one year in jail.

The registry is available to anyone who makes a request at the local county office. It will include the offenders full name, picture, conviction date, description of crime and expiration date. “The measures aim is to protect the welfare of animals by allowing pet shops and shelters to check that prospective owners are not on the registry. They also provide a way to vet pet-sitters and those seeking to buy an animal from another person” (Forster). The dream of any animal advocate is to stop animal abuse altogether. Unfortunately, most realize this goal may never be reached, but the registry is a major step towards it.

Along with protecting animals, others believe this registry will also help protect humans. “Animal cruelty is connected to many forms of human violence including domestic violence, elder abuse, child abuse, and crimes such as murder, arson, and rape (For All Animals). According to the Humane Society of the United States, animal abuse is found in “88 % of families being monitored for child abuse.” Psychologist agree that animal abuse is a neon sign singling that the abuser has a more inward serious problem. This registry is not only a victory for animal advocates, but it is also a tool that law enforcement can use in order to protect these abuser’s future victims.

As of today, Tennessee is the only state using the registry while other states have the issue under consideration. Obviously, the most effective way for this law to stop animal abuse is for all fifty states to implement the registry. If you want to see this law passed in your state, start a petition, contact your state officials, and demand they pass this law.

Just a personal footnote: As I type the last sentence to this article, I, like I do all day every day, hear my neighbor’s dog. Unfortunately, hearing this animal does not bring joy to my heart; instead, it cause anger to swell. You see, this poor dog does not fall under the legal definition of abuse, “Acts of violence or neglect perpetrated against animals are considered animal cruelty. Examples include overt animal abuse, dog and cock fighting and companion animal neglect where the animal is denied basic necessities of care such as fresh water and food or shelter” (Petfinder). He is fed and given water and shelter. However, he falls under a different type of abuse – neglect. He is kept in a covered kennel almost 24-7 and, from what I can tell, does not receive much attention. Due to the emotional neglect, this poor dog constantly releases the most heart wrenching cry deep from within. His cry is loud and so clearly beckons  his owners for attention. Animals need more than shelter, food, and water. They need their owners to love them. Please, if you have a pet, love it. If you do not have the time to do so, give it to someone who does.

And finally, in the famous words of Bob Barker, “Have your pets spade or neutered.”

Cynthia Gilder

Cynthia Gilder

Team Writer at Western Free Press
Cynthia Cutrone Gilder lives in Morgan City, Louisiana, with her husband and three children.She has taught English for the past twenty years on both the high school and the junior high level.Her love for writing has enabled her to self-publish five children's books and edit several other publications.
Cynthia Gilder

Leave a comment

Animal Abusers Must Now Register Not Unlike Sex Offenders