Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Animal Abuser Registry

I received the below forwarded message regarding the nationwide push for "animal abuser" registries in my inbox this morning.
To most people, the idea of an abuser registry sounds peachy. Just register all those convicted animal offenders so we can prevent them from owning animals in the future. Not that registries for child abusers and sex offenders have been shown to work, but hey, such efforts make a nice public show of concern that goes over well at election time.
But if you examine the animal abuser registry issue more closely, there are some definite valid, frightening concerns involved here. 

Notice, there are many types of offenses that can be considered "abuse" offenses, including being over legal limits (so-called "hoarding") or failure to license, and technical offenses such as an observed lack of space/food/water readily available. Such offenses are vague and arbitrarily applied. Such offenses could apply to almost anyone. I know of a case from just last week, where the accused "abuser" had animals in excellent condition, and could not have been charged with any neglect, so the raiding agency searched her refrigerator and took any bottles of medications that they could find (including those labelled for the human of the household). They were hoping to find something illegally purchased without a prescription. Never mind that various animal antibiotics, wormers and parasite medications, and even all vaccines with the exception of rabies, do not NEED a prescription when bought for animals. Most of these can be bought 'over the counter' and online with NO prescription. And never mind that if these animal rightist seizing agencies can't find any actual animal "abuse", they will grasp at straws to try to manufacture a technical offense that will stick. Naturally, if anyone is scrutinized enough, an offense can eventually be found...there are so many laws on the books that it is impossible to exist in today's world without being a criminal.
To the AR activists behind such punitive laws as abuser registries, every breeder is a "puppy mill", and every owner of multiple dogs is a "hoarder". There are many, many trumped-up "abuse" cases against animal owners formulated daily in the hope of "getting" animal owners and freeing the animals from their human enslavement.
Are you aware of the agenda of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, who formulated this message? They are a radical animal rights group.
Notice the closing motto of the below message: "Animal abusers should be put down". Calling for the killing of humans for "hoarding" and whatever other oddball charges the AR groups can come up with? That is frightening.
Be careful what you wish for. You might be next on the "list".



First U.S. Animal Abuser Registry Makes Convicts Public

Monday, Suffolk County activates the first animal abuser registry in the United States, which will make public the identities of convicted animal abusers. The internet registry will display their names, addresses and photographs.
The law requires pet stores, breeders and animal shelters to check the registry and not sell or adopt animals to anyone on it, according to the Animal Law Coalition. Abusers will stay on the registry for five years each, and will face jail time or fines if they do not sign up for and renew their registrations throughout that period.
The Coalition reports that in Suffolk County, "animal abuse" includes animal fighting; overdriving, torturing and injuring animals; failing to provide proper sustenance; aggravated cruelty to animals; abandoning animals; interfering with or injuring certain domestic animals; and harming a service animal.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund is leading a nationwide effort to pass more laws like Suffolk County's. If registries like this were widespread, they could make a real difference in preventing animal cruelty. Without them, convicted animal abusers, including hoarders, can easily evade court sentences forbidding them from owning animals by moving to a different county or state. Nationwide registries would make it much harder for them to acquire new animals just by changing their location.
Registries like Suffolk County's could also prevent crimes that hurt humans. A person who abuses or kills animals is five times more likely to commit violence against humans and four times more likely to commit property crimes, according to a Business Week report on a 1997 study by Northeastern University and the Massachusetts SPCA.
Other counties and states have considered similar registries and some plan to implement them, but last February Colorado voted down a law to create one. Objections to the registries include concerns about the civil rights of animal abusers and the possibility that exposure to the public will make offenders even less likely to cooperate with authorities that otherwise might be able to keep them from harming other animals

1 comment:

  1. Good post - interesting stuff I hadn't known! And believe me, I had more than my share of 'exploring' the world of allergies as pertains to pets.