Rensselaer County proposes animal abuser registry

Rensselaer County
Dog lying on the ground.

Dog on the ground. (Nelson García Bedoya / Pixabay)

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Tuesday, Rensselaer County legislators filed a local law to create a local animal abuse registry. “This legislation will establish an online registry for individuals who are convicted of animal abuse and neglect,” said Minority Leader Peter Grimm. “It is in the best interest of our residents and their animals that an online registry be established identifying individuals, living in Rensselaer County.”

Cruelty to animals is already a criminal offense statewide. Abuse still continues in the county, and abusers are statistically likely to re-offend, with studies showing a nearly 100% recidivism rate in certain types of abuse, like animal hoarding. “This registry will send a clear message that Rensselaer County will not tolerate animal cruelty,” said Legislator Carole Weaver. “More so, statistics show that those who abuse animals are more likely to commit violent acts against humans.”

The registry would create a publicly-accessible record of names, addresses, mugshots, and past offenses, helping investigators to uncover a pattern of behavior. Establishing the registry should make it easier for law enforcement to make a case or enact harsher penalties.

Passing the law would mean Rensselaer County joins 21 other counties in the state, including Albany, that fight against repeat offenders of animal neglect, cruelty, and abuse.

Rensselaer County District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly says her office, the Mohawk-Hudson Humane Society, and the County Legislature and Sheriff’s Department “are all committed to establishing this necessary and worthwhile program that will protect our animals and block abusers from continuing such cruelty.”

The local law will be introduced by the minority at the March meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature.

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