PETITION IN ACTION

Albany County, NY Passes Nation’s Third Animal Abuser Registry Law

The Albany County Legislature (New York) voted unanimously on October 11, 2011 to establish an animal abuser registry, making it the third county in New York (and, indeed, the entire nation) to pass such a law. In the past year, Suffolk County and Rockland County approved similar legislation. With the passage of Albany County’s law, more than 2.1 million people (and millions of animals) now live in jurisdictions protected by animal abuser registries!

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The publicly accessible registries allow communities to track the whereabouts of convicted animal abusers and prevent those offenders from acquiring new animals.

To these ends, the Albany County law includes the following provisions:

  • Applies to misdemeanor and felony convictions for animal cruelty, animal fighting, sexual abuse of an animal, and harming service or police animals.
  • Offenders remain on the registry for ten years following a first offense and for life following any subsequent offenses.
  • Offenders who fail to register are guilty of a misdemeanor and may be incarcerated for up to one year and fined up to $1,000.
  • Any person or group selling, offering for adoption, or otherwise transferring animals must check the registry to ensure that the potential owner is not listed on it.
  • Failure to check the registry is a violation and is punishable by a fine of $5,000.

By enacting an animal abuser registry, Albany County sends a clear and unambiguous message that animal abuse will not be tolerated!