In a first, the New York Senate has passed a bill that would require that convicted animal abusers - just like convicted sex offenders - register as such with the division of criminal justice services. Even more, those who have been convicted of abusing and torturing animals would also have to undergo a required psychiatric evaluation and would be banned from ever owning pets again.
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Under the bill, the names and addresses of convicted animal abuses in New York would be made readily accessible to the public. Those involved in the sale and adoption of animals would be able to check the registry before allowing someone to own an animal.
Animal cruelty has been a felony in New York since 1999 when Buster's Law was passed. Buster was a cat in Schenectady in upstate New York who was doused with kerosene and set on fire in 1997. The law bearing his name was created to ensure that those who commit such crimes are convicted. The new law (S2305A-2013) takes things a step further by creating the registry.
It is more than well-established that the abuse of animals can be a "gateway behavior" to violence against humans. Senator Greg Ball of Patterson, who sponsored the bill,addressed this very point:
Persons who commit crimes against animals represent some of the worst kind of people, and often expand their carnage to their neighbors and the larger community. Most people can agree that the level of respect and kindness shown for animals - creatures who cannot speak for themselves, or protect themselves and are easily abused and taken advantage of - is a fine predictor of how a person will treat their peers.
Just as Megan's Law was created to protect children from repeated sex offenders, Ball's bill will protect animals from repeat animal abusers - from (again, quoting Patterson) "violent and cruel behavior" that "cannot and should not be tolerated." >>more from PawNation<<