Have you heard the news? Suffolk County, a wonderfully forward thinking county on Long Island has just passed legislation creating the nation’s very first animal abuse registry. As with sex offender registries, people convicted of animal cruelty within Suffolk County must now add their names to an online list of offenders that is accessible to the public. The Suffolk County law was prompted by a recent spate of animal abuse cases including that of a woman accused of forcing her children to watch her torture and kill kittens and dozens of dogs, then burying the remains in her backyard.
Jon Cooper, the bill’s sponsor argued for the registry based on the strong correlation between animal abuse and domestic violence- it’s known that those who commit heinous crimes against people often hone their skills by torturing animals. Heck, as far as I’m concerned, those who abuse animals deserve to be “outed” whether or not that abuse might ever be perpetrated against people. In fact, if I were “Queen of the Universe” the repercussions for animal abusers would be far greater than this legislation allows for, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog. Mr. Cooper’s next goal is to create legislation that will prevent registered animal abusers from purchasing or adopting new pets. Kudos to you, Mr. Cooper, along with Suffolk County. Let’s hope your new legislation becomes contagious!
By the way, who is the insanely adorable dog performing a leaping fox impression in the attached photos (you didn’t expect me to show photos of animal abuse, did you)? Why he’s none other than my adorable Quinn. I love watching him leap, and my photographer/daughter finally acquiesced to my demands to catch him in the act!
Now here’s wishing you and your four-legged family members abundant good health.
Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association 2009 Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, 2009 Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award
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Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.
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Tags: animal abuse, animal abuse registry, animal torture, Animal Welfare, animal welfare legislation, Jon Cooper, Megan's Law, Suffolk County, Suffolk County Long Island NY, Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals