ASI’s Margo de Mello makes a persuasive case.
California’s animals may have even more protection soon, if a proposed state law creating a criminal registry for animal abusers passes the state legislature. Last week, state Senator Dean Florez (D-Shafter) proposed the bill, which would be the first of its kind in the nation, and would require anyone convicted of felony animal cruelty to register with the police, as sex offenders are required to do under the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Act. In addition, the law would also mirror Megan’s Law, which requires states to notify the public of sex offenders in their communities. SB 1277 would require that California not only maintain a database of animal abusers, but that names, addresses, and photos would be posted online. (Currently, there are a handful of private websites that list such abusers’ names, but none are comprehensive.) The bill would be funded by a tax on pet food. […] Finally, one reason why sex offenders–and not bank robbers, drunk drivers, or even murderers–are the target of legislation like Megan’s Law is that they are especially prone to recidivism. Animal abusers are too. Hoarders, for example, are especially likely to offend again, and a law like Florez’s would provide the public with enough information to make it at least more difficult for them to acquire animals again.