Target: Norma Gonsalves, Nassau Legislator
Goal: Strengthen animal cruelty laws and create an animal abuser registry in Nassau County, New York
New York Legislator Norma Gonsalves has proposed a bill that would strengthen animal cruelty laws and create an animal abuser registry in Nassau County after a series or horrific animal cruelty cases, including a pit bull puppy named Miss Harper whose ears and leg were cut off. The registry would be similar to those for sex offenders and accessible to animal shelters as well as the general public. Passing the bill into law would bring the United States one step closer to a national registry and deserves our support.
The proposed database would track anyone older than 18 convicted of cruel treatment, aggravated cruelty or animal torture. It would include their names, birthdates and addresses. Abusers must register within five days of the conviction or release from jail and pay a $100 administrative fee. Failure to complete any step could be punishable with a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Those in the database would not be allowed to own pets or work with animals of any kind. They would also be required to notify authorities of a change of address. The database would be managed by the Nassau County SPCA.
Many states have proposed registries, but most legislators and citizens still believe the measure to be excessive. But the reason why so many states have proposed them is because the rate of recidivism for animal abuse is second only to sexual offenses. Roughly 80 percent of those who intentionally torture or abuse an animal will do so again.
It also presents a threat to the community because so many animal abuse cases involve the abduction of pets. Statistics from dozens of studies performed on multiple continents over the course of the last 30 years have also shown that on average, 65 percent of those who abused animals eventually committed homicide, and more than 85 percent eventually committed a sexual crime. Within Norma Gonsalves’ proposal it even states “individuals who abuse animals are more likely to commit violent acts against humans than individuals who do not abuse animals. It also states there’s “a strong correlation” that links “individuals who abuse animals with incidents of domestic violence.”
Please sign the petition below to support this new bill and the creation of an animal abuser registry in Nassau County, New York.
Dear Legislator Gonsalves,
You recently proposed a bill that, if passed into law, would create an animal abuser registry in Nassau County. Several other states and counties have also proposed similar legislation during the last year, but with little success. An animal abuser registry is crucial to not only reducing cruelty and neglect, but also keeping more animals from ending up in shelters.
You have my full support. Shelters should be able to ensure that they aren’t sending an animal to a potentially violent home and the general public should be able to know who in their neighborhood could be a threat to their four-legged family members. Please do everything you can to see that this bill passes into law and hopefully other states will take notice.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: sblackley via Flickr