Sunday, May 23, 2010
A New Plan to Stop Animal Abuse
"We're trying to reduce risk," says Stephan Otto of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, noting that animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against humans and four times more likely to commit property crimes than those without a history of violence against animals.
The registry would include people convicted of maiming, mutilating, torturing, or killing animals, as well as pet hoarders and operators of animal-fighting rings.
"To me, the bill seems like overkill," says California State Sen. Bob Huff, adding that he's wary of putting animal abuse and child abuse on a legal par. Huff also worries that fines imposed on animal abusers won't bring in enough revenue to cover the costs of the registry.
Alison Gianotto, a New York Web developer, started a volunteer pet-abuse database after her neighbor's cat was kidnapped and set on fire in 2001. At a cost of about $10,000 per year, Pet-Abuse.com now tracks nearly 16,000 accused or convicted animal abusers. Gianotto says government officials need to do more "to help the public understand that animal cruelty is everywhere, even in their own backyards."
Go to this site to vote.