Democrats give animal abuse registry another try | News, Sports, Jobs
Democrats are making yet another push for a statewide animal abuse registry.
Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Philadelphia, proposes a statewide animal abuse registry under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania State Police. Once a person convicted of animal abuse registered with the state police, Cruz would then require every county sheriff in the state to supply all county residences, schools, humane societies , animal shelters and any other business within a half-mile radius of anyone on the animal. residence or abuse registry location within 10 days of receiving a record. The information would be retained for seven years for life, depending on the number of convictions.
Failure to register would be a third degree felony and repeat offenders who do not register commit a second degree felony.
“Animal abuse registries allow law enforcement to hold convicted individuals more accountable and provide additional resources to animal shelters to prevent abusers from adopting and abusing again,” said Cruz. “Without an animal abuse registry, it is extremely easy for people with previous animal abuse convictions to acquire more animals and commit repeat offences.”
The ASPCA’s position on animal abuse registries, particularly statewide registries, has been to expand existing animal cruelty laws, make better use of restraining orders, properly enforced contact and include animals in domestic violence protection orders. The organization’s website says registries can reduce prosecutions in serious animal cruelty cases by giving the court system the ability to litigate cases to less serious charges, registries are too limited to offer. effective protections, do not eliminate potential access to pets, can create a self-defense mentality in the public, are limited in scope and rarely used, and can be expensive to institute and maintain. The ASPCA noted that a proposed 2011 registry in Virginia pegged costs at $1 million, while a California registry was estimated at $750,000 to $2 million.
“The ASPCA supports all efforts to ensure animal cruelty is taken more seriously by law enforcement officials and the general public,” the organization said on its website. “However, we believe animal cruelty registries do little to advance these efforts and may be counterproductive to them.”
Cruz’s bill has seven co-sponsors, none of whom are Republicans, it would need to move the bill out of committee for a floor vote. Similar bills have been proposed in the past but have never been put to a vote in the House.