Target: Scott Maddox, Tallahassee City Commissioner
Goal: Demand a publicly available registry of animal abusers in Tallahassee.
City officials in Tallahassee, Florida say they are mulling the idea of a public registry for animal abusers. Under the proposal, anyone convicted of specific animal abuse charges will be required to register with local courts. Anyone listed on the animal abuser registry will also be barred from purchasing or adopting new animals.
Similar registries already exist elsewhere in the country. In 2014, New York City unveiled its animal abuse registry. In the city, convicted animal abusers are barred from any physical contact with an animal for five years. The registry is not only available to the public, but management of businesses that work with animals are required by law to check employee names against the registry. Advocates of the legislation argue it has not only kept animals out of harm’s way, but also made the city safer.
Moreover, Animal rights advocates have long argued that there’s a link between animal abuse and domestic violence. According to the Humane Society of the United States, somewhere between 71 percent and 83 percent of women who enter domestic violence shelters say their partners also attacked family pets. Meanwhile, a 2014 paper from the National District Attorneys Association found domestic abusers often target pets to manipulate other family members.
“They [pets] may get caught in the crossfire of violence toward people, or the batterer may target the pet in order to gain silence and compliance from human victims,” the report stated.
It continued, “Families and communities are at risk when animal abuse is ignored or unreported alongside family violence.”
In this context, an animal abuse registry may not only be a victory for animal rights advocates in Tallahassee, but also a step forward in the fight against domestic violence. If you agree, please sign this petition calling on the city to go ahead with the proposed animal abuse registry.
Dear Commissioner Scott Maddox,
The Tallahassee City Commission is currently considering implementing an animal abuse registry. Similar to a sex offender registration, the animal abuser registry would allow employers and other members of the public to be aware of animal abusers in their workplaces, homes and communities. This would keep abusers away from animals, and ensure they can’t buy or adopt new pets. Similar registries have already been put in place elsewhere in the country, including New York City.
An animal abuse registry isn’t just to protect animals, though. Rather, studies have repeatedly shown a strong link between domestic violence and animal abuse. Raising awareness of violence toward animals will not only help our furry friends, but also make our communities safer. As such, we urge you to ensure Tallahassee goes ahead with its proposed animal registry.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Vhcmor