RENSSELAER COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It was announced Wednesday that the Rensselaer County Legislature passed a local law that will establish an Animal Abuse Registry during their July meeting.

“The Minority Office introduced similar legislation years ago and have continued to reintroduce legislation to protect animals time and time again,” said Minority Leader Peter Grimm.

The new registry, located on the District Attorney’s website, will do several things including the following:

  • The registry will allow for sharing of information for anyone over 16 years of age who has been convicted of an Animal Abuse and Neglect crime. The registry will include their name and address.
  • No animal shelter, or professional, licensed and/or accredited pet dealer located in Rensselaer County shall sell, exchange, or otherwise transfer the ownership of any animal to any person listed as an Animal Abuse Offender on the Animal Abuse Registry.
  • Prior to the sale, exchange, or other transfer of ownership of
  • Any animal, the animal shelter, or professional, licensed and/or accredited Pet Dealer located in Rensselaer County is required to examine the Animal Abuse Registry to confirm that the name of the potential owner of the animal is not listed.
  • Any animal abuse offender required to register with the Animal Abuse Registry yet fails to register shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by incarceration for a period of not more than one year and/or a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 for each day that the Animal Abuse Offender fails to register.
  • Any Animal Shelter, or professional, licensed and/or accredited Pet Dealer, located in Rensselaer County, that violates Section 7 of this Local Law shall be guilty of a violation and subject to a fine.

“Animal abuse is a serious problem and Rensselaer County legislators Carole Weaver and Tom Grant partnered with me on this initiative to take action by establishing this registry. The registry will not eliminate the cruelty, but it may keep animals out of the hands of those convicted of previous animal cruelty crimes,” said District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly. “This legislation may prevent animal abusers from owning animals in the future. Unfortunately people who have abused animals in the past are likely to do so in the future, and studies show that there is a near-100% recidivism rate for certain types of animal abuse.”

Animal cruelty is a growing problem that often results in the abuse of thousands of animals per year. It is said to be a known fact that people who have previously abused pets in the past are likely to do it again.

“A bi-partisan effort to pass such important legislation has brought this Local Law to fruition,” added Legislator Carole Weaver.

Officials say the purpose of enacting this local law is to establish an online registry for people who are convicted of animal abuse and neglect crimes.

“This is such an important piece of legislation to have in Rensselaer County, because research has shown that those who abuse dogs and cats often are abusers in other aspects of their lives,” stated Deputy Minority Leader Cindy Doran.