Several states consider creating registries of animal abusers

In this March 2012 photo provided by Dr. Pamela Fisher, a mixed-breed dog named Lili sits in her kennel at Summit County Animal Control in Akron, Ohio. (Dr. Pamela Fisher via AP)

(WCMH) – Several states are proposing legislation that would create registries of known animal abusers.

The registry proposals aim to prevent convicted animal abusers from buying or adopting another animal.

In 2015, Tennessee became the first state to enact such a law statewide.  The registry currently includes fewer than 10 people.

Michigan recently passed a law that allows shelters to access the state’s background check tool as part of the adoption process, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Several cities and counties across the country have passed registry laws of their own.

In Ohio, Cuyahoga County’s animal abuse registry went live in June. It’s the first of its kind in Ohio.

It’s an online public service tool that lists individuals convicted of felony animal abuse within the county that includes Cleveland and prohibits them from buying, adopting or harboring a companion animal inside county limits.

According to the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS), a dozen states considered similar laws in 2017. Many of those states ended their 2017 sessions without taking action on the bills.

Ohio was not one of the states to consider the measure.

According to NAVS, an ideal bill would list offenders for at least five years, require pet stores and shelters to check the registry, and prohibit people on the registry from owning an animal.

The FBI singled out animal cruelty offenses in national crime statistics for the first time last year in an effort to begin to quantify the problem. Ohio made bestiality a crime effective in April.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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