Target: Dr. Mary Bassett, Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene
Goal: Praise decision to strengthen animal cruelty laws and create an animal abuser registry in New York.
Anyone over the age of 18 who is convicted of an animal abuse crime is to be added to the NYC Animal Abuse Registry due to the newly passed Animal Abuse Registration Act. Thanks to activists, including a petition on ForceChange, convicted animal abusers are being recognized by law enforcement for the damaging consequences their harmful acts have on innocent animals and the community as a whole.
The registry is similar to those for sex offenders and accessible to animal shelters as well as the general public. Passing the bill into law brings the United States one step closer to a national registry and deserves our support.
Earlier this year, the Federal Bureau of Investigations classified animal abuse as a Group A felony on par with rape, assault, and homicide. According to the Chicago Police Department, 65 percent of people arrested for animal crimes have been arrested for battery against another person. For these reasons, it is imperative that the community be aware of animal abusers in their presence.
Not only does this registry allow members of the community to be aware of convicted animal abusers, but it also requires animal-related businesses and organizations to check the registry and refuse the sale or transfer of ownership to individuals listed. Convicted animal abusers will remain on the list for five years after convictions and failure to register can lead to fines up to $1,000 and a year in jail.
By signing the petition below you will help thank Dr. Mary Bassett, the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene, for implementing this registry that protects innocent animals and the community as a whole.
Dear Commissioner Bassett,
Animal abuse is a serious crime and 65 percent of offenders arrested for animal abuse crimes have also been arrested for battery against another person. Furthermore, convicted animal abusers are not always inflicting their abuse on their own pets, but instead could be targeting other animals in the community. This is why the Animal Abuse Registration Act is imperative for the protection of the residents of New York.
Earlier this year, the FBI classified animal abuse crimes as a Grade A felony and will begin tracking convicted and alleged animal abusers. Not only will the Animal Abuse Registration Act make members of the community aware of convicted animal abusers in their midst, but it will also prevent the sale or transfer of ownership of animals to these convicted abusers for at least five years after sentencing or five years after release of incarceration.
I sincerely thank you for giving the animal owners in our community awareness and protection from convicted animal abusers. Please continue to enforce policies that allow the residents of New York City to be aware of potential threats to their pets’ safety in order to protect these innocent animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Pleple2000