Should Animal Abusers Be Registered Like Sex Offenders?
It is important to remember that those who abuse animals also tend to abuse children.
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.
Several counties in New York, Cook County Illinois, Hillsborough County Florida, and others, have already passed such laws. These include some of the country’s largest metropolitan areas such as Tampa, Chicago, and New York City. Meanwhile, similar laws are worming their way through councils and legislatures in cities and counties across the country.