NC bill would create online registry for convicted animal abusers

A new bipartisan proposal would create a publicly available online registry of convicted animal abusers, with increased penalties for those with multiple convictions, similar to the sex offender registry.

"I think it's absolutely imperative we do everything we can to stop animal abuse," said McKissick.

Senate Bill 423 was filed in March 2019 with Senators Floyd McKissick Jr. and Britt being the primary sponsors.

"We need to be concerned about that because often times, these people who abuse animals would engage in conduct that would hurt people as well," McKissick said.

If the bill were to become law, after a person's first animal abuse offense, they would be put on an online registry for the next two years. For every subsequent conviction, the person would remain on the registry for five years.

"A pet is family. I couldn't imagine my dog going to someone who abused their pet last time," dog owner Darien Swient said.

The registry would include offender's names, photos and additional information to identify those who might be a threat.

"It would be a great tool for local rescues and animal controls throughout North Carolina to use this registry to vet applicants who want to adopt or foster animals," said Rescue and Freedom Project Vice President April Arrington. "We rescue the most severe cases of cruelty done to animals."

Under the proposed bill, repeat offenders put on the registry would have to give up any animals they owned and would not be able to own animals for the next five years.

"I think it would be a good idea because it would keep people who abused animals out of areas where there are a lot of animals," said dog owner Hayden Hunter.

Animal lovers are hoping the bill passes in an effort to get results and keep our furry friends safe.

"It's good for pounds and places like the Humane Society," said Swient. "So when they screen applicants, they know the dog is going to a good home.

If passed, the bill would go into effect on Jan. 2, 2020. For more information on this bill, click here.