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Should Animal Abusers Be Registered Like Sex Offenders?

‘One of the objectives of the criminal justice system is to protect the innocent and discourage would-be perpetrators from harming them. Whether it does this in reality or not is another matter. But who among us is more innocent or vulnerable than our pets? They rely on us for so much. Most of us consider our pet a member of the family. The question is, how far should the law go to protect them?

This debate has blossomed recently, due to the number of US jurisdictions passing laws creating animal abuse abuser registries. This is much like a sex offender registry. Tennessee passed a statewide law, the first, in 2016. Connecticut, Washington, and Texas may be next. Some other states are considering such a registry as well….

Some supporters of these laws have pointed out that there’s a relationship between animal abuse and domestic violence. Serial killers often start out by abusing animals, before they move up to humans. This is in the most extreme cases, however. According to the Humane Society, the most widespread type of animal abuse is neglect. Neglectful pet owners don’t often harm humans or animals in any other way….

Humane Society Spokeswoman Jennifer Fearing said that rather than public shaming, targeted educational programs and mental health efforts would be more effective and less inflammatory. “We should be very careful to strike a balance between preventing future animal cruelty, protecting civil liberties, and promoting redemption and rehabilitation,” she said.

Lots of animal rights organizations and shelters keep their own lists. But these don’t often get into the hands of authorities. Animal abuse is considered a misdemeanor in most states and the most heinous acts are considered a felony, in all 50. Animal cruelty has also made it to the FBI’s list of Class A felonies. It monitors for such incidence just as it does for major crimes such as murder….

But whether we should go a step farther and have a federal animal abuser registry is still hotly debated. According to polling site Debate.com, 64% of respondents believe we should. Want to weigh in yourself? Click here. If you believe someone is abusing animals, be sure and contact The Humane Society or dial 911. ‘

Source: Big Think

One thought on “Should Animal Abusers Be Registered Like Sex Offenders?

  1. In the early 1960’s I worked in biomedical research. I was a teenager with a science obsession and worked in one of UCLA’s research facilities. My work primarily involved rats, but I also helped out in the lab that was doing experimental heart surgery on dogs. The dogs were sacrificed, and not humanely. I became desensitized to animal suffering and it took many years to recover my natural love of all animals, especially dogs. I’ve rescued and raised a dozen or so dogs in the past 50+ years, partly to atone for the cruelty I enabled.

    In my lifetime I have seen a welcome and significant increase of consciousness around animal welfare issues, including in biomedical research but also in the care of pets. Intentional cruelty toward animals has always seemed to me to deserve the harshest measures. Neglect can be the result of many factors, including loving animals too much (hoarders.) I don’t know if a registry makes sense, but the laws around intentional cruelty need to be strengthened to be certain a person who has committed the crime has a lasting criminal record.

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