Most people who have pets know that they have more in common with us humans than we know. After all, they’re members of our family. And as such, we would never want anything bad to happen to them or for anyone to hurt them.
So in a world filled with stories about animal abuse, it’s good to know that local governments are listening to animal lovers and increasing the punishments for those who abuse or neglect animals. According to the Washington Post, in the U.S, all 50 states hand out felony charges for the worst crimes against animals and give misdemeanor to lesser offenses.
Now, local governments across America are going a step further to protect and defend our fur babies. They’re treating animal abusers like sex offenders and forcing them to register on online animal cruelty registries.
It all started in Tennessee back in 2015. The state created an online database that contains the names, photos, dates of birth, and addresses of convicted animal abusers. The idea was for rescue organizations and shelters to have a tool to help them make sure animals didn’t end up in abusive homes.
But the sponsor of the law, Tennessee state senator Richard Briggs, also hoped it would make people think twice before abusing an animal.
The Tennessee Animal Abuse Registry currently has 12 people on it, and it has inspired similar registries in counties across America.
Among other places, Cook County, Illinois, where Chicago is located, has a registry. In Florida, 20 counties have already online registries, including the latest, Leon County. And in New York, Broome County will join New York City and other counties in January 2018 with the state’s newest registry.
Pet owners in Tennessee and in counties that have registries are grateful for this new tool to help them protect their pets.
“Hundreds of pets disappear each year and people need to know if there are any offenders in their neighborhood so that they can be extra diligent in watching their animals so that nothing bad happens to them,” pet owners Lester and Elaine Darnell told 10News in Knoxville, Tennessee.
But the registries also have the potential to help us humans. According to the Washington Post, research shows that those who commit violence against animals commit violence against humans at higher rates than people who don’t abuse animals.
Kevin Beckner, a county commissioner in Florida who pushed Hillsborough County to get a registry, told the Washington Post, “Most owners consider their pets to be family members. Registries not only protects animals, but can identify — and maybe even prevent — violence against humans, too.”
We hope more counties and states across America, as well as countries around the world join Tennessee. It would be a big step toward ending animal cruelty once and for all!
Published by The Animal Bible. Please like.