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Animal abuser registries - National Humane Education Society

Animal abuser registries could help protect animals like this one, a dog rescued, rehabilitated, and rehomed by our Briggs Animal Adoption Center.

Several states have legislation pending that would create animal abuser registries similar to child abuser and sex offender registries. An animal abuser registry would be for individuals convicted of felony animal abuse or who committed certain violent offenses against animals.

Intentional animal cruelty is of particular concern as it is a sign of psychological distress and often indicates an individual may be predisposed to committing acts of violence toward humans. Since animal abuse is often an early sign of potential human abuse, keeping track of animal abusers would help protect not only the animals of a community but also the humans as well. Therefore, creating and maintaining a registry of individuals convicted of felony animal cruelty can be an asset in identifying potential criminal behavior.

Many studies in psychology, sociology, and criminology have demonstrated that violent offenders frequently have childhood and adolescent histories of serious and repeated animal cruelty. Additionally, mental health professionals and top law enforcement officials consider the blatant disregard for life and suffering evidenced by all forms of cruelty to animals to be an unquestionable warning sign. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association identifies cruelty to animals as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders; and the FBI uses reports of animal cruelty in analyzing the threat potential of suspected and known criminals.

In addition, such registries could be valuable in tracking people who engage in illegal animal fighting, such as cockfighting and dog fighting; hoarders; and people who run puppy mills.

The following states have legislation pending:

Massachusetts HB 3682 and SB 876
Michigan HB 5402
Pennsylvania HB 354 and SB 921
South Carolina S 226
New Hampshire HB 526
Rhode Island S 2032

NHES urges the citizens of these states to contact their legislators and encourage them to support a felony animal abuser registry in their state.

Related Posts:

Animal Abuser Registries, Feb 2012
Animal Abuser Registries, Jan 2011 

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3 responses to “Animal abuser registries”

  1. Samantha Fish says:

    I volunteer at a cat sanctuary and was wondering if there was a way to run checks on our new volunteers to make sure that they do not have any animal cruelty charges. Do you know of a way to do this?

    • Hi Samantha,

      Since there is currently no federal animal abuser registry, you would want to check with your local animal control authority/police department for the best way to check their backgrounds.

  2. Alfred Martinez says:

    Yes I had my dog no water for 6 days and food by police not doing there job and reporting to animals control got strangle and they laughed even Doctors had lied for corruption law where do I go to fbi

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