It’s about time! More states are requiring animal abusers to register as animal offenders, and we couldn’t be more pleased.
Tennessee has an animal offenders registry that requires animal abusers to register in a similar fashion to how sex offenders are registered once convicted, following the likes of ones in New York and Florida and even European countries.
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Now several jurisdictions across the United States have introduced animal offender registries, and these registries allow the public to know about animal abusers in their area. Right now, Tennessee is the only state that has a registry, but smaller localities like New York City and Cook County in Illinois have them, with other counties and states in the country following suit.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) monitors the Tennessee registry and anyone can access information at the TBI or offices in any county of Tennessee. The information the on the registry details an abuser’s name, birthday, offense, conviction date and date that their conviction expires. Pet shops and breeders will be able to use this information to better serve their pets and to ensure their safety when moving to new homes.
Animal abusers who are convicted for the first time must register for two years and they will receive an additional five years in the registry every time they are convicted of subsequent offenses.
To register, convicted users will have to pay a $50 registration fine, and abusers 18 and older have to supply a picture and any aliases they may have. Failure to register, may mean a year in prison and a fine up to $1,000.
Related: Doctors Say Pet Abuse Should Raise Red Flags About Domestic Violence
Convicted abusers will be made to pay a $50 registration fine. All abusers 18 or older must supply a recent photo as well as any aliases they go by. If you fail to register, you’ll face a year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
The model in Tennessee is based on one in Suffolk County, New York. Suffolk County is in the eastern part of Long Island, and was the first principality in the country to develop a registry for animal offenders. John Cooper, Suffolk County Legislator says that research shows a strong correlation between those who abuse animals and those who participate in domestic violence. Evidence also shows that almost every serial killer at one time tortured animals, so he hopes that lives could possibly be saved by identifying and cataloging those who may end up being eventual abusers of humans.