New York may be the first state to have an animal abuser registry, which will function much like a sex offender index as a way to protect animals and prevent further abuse.
The legislation takes Buster’s Law one step further in protecting animals. Buster’s Law, which was passed in 1999 after a cat named Buster was doused in gasoline and set on fire, makes animal cruelty a felony offense in New York. Any violator of Buster’s Law, if this new bill passes, will have their name and address put in the registry. In addition, violators would also have to undergo a psychiatric evaluation — since harming animals is a gateway to harming humans — and will never be allowed to own a pet again.
The bill has already passed the New York State Senate, as Senator Greg Ball (R-Patterson) announced Tuesday.
“Buster’s Law was a landmark bill for our furry little friends. This animal abuse registry will prevent repeat animal abuse offenders,” said Ball. “Persons who commit crimes against animals represent some of the worst kind of people, and often expand their carnage to their neighbors and the larger community. Most people can agree that the level of respect and kindness shown for animals, creatures who cannot speak for themselves, or protect themselves and are easily abused and taken advantage of, is a fine predictor of how a person will treat their peers. Violent and cruel behavior towards animals, cannot and should not be tolerated.”
The registry will be accessible to the public so that anyone involved in the selling and adoption of pets will be able to look up names on the registry to better ensure the animal will be placed in safe hands.
Now, the bill will be voted on in the assembly, where Rep. Jim Tedisco (R-Glenville) will sponsor the legislation and work to get it voted into law.