Suffolk Establishes Public Animal Abuser Registry | County becomes the first in the country to establish a public animal abuse registry.

Editors Note: If you own an animal, you are obligated toward it’s care. Having said that, this latest creation in the name of protection can and will have grave implications. Typically new laws such as this have broad definitions. Example: Sex offender registry. You can be labeled a sex offender for urinating in public. Minors having sex have led to children being put on this list. Advocates for these laws say it’s for the better good of society, and in some way their heart is in the right place. But countless lives are ruined by poor decisions and society’s broad sense of justice. There are truly evil people who enjoy making others suffer, and they should pay for these violations of morality, but will it be taken on a case by case basis? Probably not,but one can only hope.

By Ashley Milligan|SachemPatch

Cooper said those in the registry would be required to update their personal information annually or any time they change their address.

Suffolk County has officially become the first county in the nation to pass a bill to establish a public animal abuser registry. Authored by the legislature’s majority leader, Jon Cooper, D-Lloyd Harbor, the bill creates the first publicly searchable database of convicted animal abusers, which Cooper said he hopes officially exists within the next few months.

The law, which must be signed into law or vetoed in the next 30 days by County Executive Steve Levy, requires convicted abusers to register their names, addresses and a photograph with the registry. Additionally, each offender must pay an annual fee of $50 for the five years that they must register with the database after being convicted. The database will be run by the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and will be funded by abusers’ registration fees and private donations.

“This bill will provide the ammunition needed to fight the ongoing war against animal abusers,” said Suffolk County’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Chief Roy Gross. “Let Jon’s law be a model for other municipalities, not only in New York State, but throughout the nation.”

Previous counties across the nation have tried for years to set up a similar registry, but Suffolk is the first to have the law pass. Stephan Otto, the director of legislative affairs at the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), a non-profit animal rights organization, said he believes that previous attempts have failed due to funding concerns. Cooper, however, assures that Suffolk’s registry will not spend any of taxpayers’ dollars and will rely solely on abusers’ registration fees and donations.

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