California proposes animal-abuser registry
March 6, 2010
Should people convicted of felony animal abuse be forced to register with law enforcement, just like sex offenders? One California legislator thinks so, and has introduced such a bill, one that would make California first in the nation. [Time]
“We think California is primed for this kind of a bill,” says Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, who introduced the legislation late last month. Florez believes it is an issue Californians care about deeply; almost 60 percent of state residents own pets; throw in farm animals and the figure rises to 80 percent.
The goal of the proposed registry, which includes crimes against both pets and farm animals, is to make it easier for shelters and animal adoption groups to identify people who shouldn’t be allowed access to animals. Law enforcement is also served, advocates believe, because of the well-documented evidence that suggests violence against animals often leads to violence against humans.
Abuses covered in the bill include the malicious and intentional maiming, torture, wounding, or killing of an animal. Cockfighting and animal hoarding would also be covered in the bill.
Florez wants funding for the proposed registry to come through a 2 to 3 cent sales tax on dog food, though supporters worry that Sacramento may not be in the mood for any new taxes. Florez is also open to the idea of having convicted offenders pay a fee towards funding the operation.