NC Bill Would Create Registry for Animal Abusers

CHARLOTTE, NC –  State leaders are pushing for a registry for convicted animal abusers in North Carolina. The bill making its way through the state legislature would set up an online database of offenders similar to the sex offender registry.

Supporters say they hope the bill will serve as a deterrent to animal abuse.

Kareem is a one-year-old foster dog. He was barely alive when he was rescued from a hoarding situation in early February.

“We couldn’t believe he was even standing on his own, ” said Sarah Freeman, a volunteer with the Greater Charlotte SPCA.

The bill aims to stop abuse like what Kareem experienced.

“Allowing some protections for animals and making it so that no more animals will be in the hands of people who seek to harm them,” said Mecklenburg State Senator Natasha Marcus.

She co-sponsored the bill.

“It’s a stronger bill and it’s a bipartisan bill so I think it has a better chance,” said Marcus.

The law applies to all animals including livestock and birds. People convicted of animal abuse would have their name and picture put on a registry for two years. For a second offense, the offender would have all their animals taken away and they wouldn’t be allowed to own an animal for five years.

“It is enough time to be a penalty and I would also say it’s a deterrent,” said Marcus.

Freeman says in order for the bill to be a true deterrent to animal abuse, the registry must have an impact on the rest of the person’s life.

She says a public registry is a way to make that happen.

“I think it’s absolutely wonderful and absolutely needed,” said Freeman.