Those who batter, abuse or kill dogs and cats would get the same public scorn as sex offenders in bills introduced in legislatures throughout the United States.
Online registries for convicted animal abusers already have been approved in three New York counties, including Suffolk, where the nation’s first takes effect Monday. Twenty-five states have considered such laws since 2010, according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, which is leading the campaign.
Backers say the bills recognize a growing awareness of animal rights – and the public-safety benefits of stopping abusers, who studies show often go on to harm humans.
“There’s a mountain of evidence that says we need something like this,” said Michigan State Rep. Harvey Santana, a Detroit Democrat who’s proposed a registry there. “There is a strong correlation between people who abuse animals and graduate to abusing people.”
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