Hillsborough Commission Approves Animal Abuse Registry
The registry will help keep pets out of abusive homes, officials say.
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY – The county commission approved Thursday (Sept. 8) the creation of the Hillsborough County Animal Abuser Registry to help prevent individuals convicted of animal abuse from adopting or acquiring animals.
Championed by Commissioner Kevin Beckner, the ordinance requires registration of individuals who have been convicted of certain misdemeanor and/or felony animal abuse offenses in Hillsborough County. Convicted offenders may not own, possess, live in the same home or on the same property, or work with a service animal unless otherwise provided in a court order. If a pet is to be adopted, pet retailers and shelters must require the person to sign an affidavit attesting that he or she is not listed on the registry.
A growing body of research indicates that if animals in a home are abused or neglected, others in the household may not be safe, linking people who abuse animals with those who perpetrate domestic violence and child abuse. The public can use the registry to prevent ownership by convicted abusers. Law enforcement agencies can use it to help keep tabs on violent individuals.
“Most owners consider their pets to be family members,” Beckner said. “This registry not only protects animals, but it can identify — and maybe even prevent — violence against humans, too. I’m very proud of the new law.”
The Hillsborough County Animal Abuser Registry will contain the name, residence, photo and other related information of those living in the county who are convicted of an abuse affense on or after Nov. 1, the effective date of the ordinance.
For additional information about the registry, go to hillsboroughcounty.org.
Hillsborough Commission | Animal Abuse | Kevin Beckner | Pets | Animals | TB Reporter
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