About a year ago, Tennessee implemented the nation’s very first statewide animal abuse registry. It’s an online, public listing of people convicted of animal abuse within the State of Tennessee. For first-time offenders, they’ll remain on the registry list for two years after their convictions. Subsequent offenders remain on the list for five or more years, due to multiple convictions.
About Tennessee’s Animal Abuser Registration Act
“We proposed this law not just to take a stand against animal cruelty, but to take concrete action to prevent abuse and deter those who repeatedly engage in the torture and killing of animals.”
The law is the Tennessee Animal Abuser Registration Act. And, because of it, people can expect there to be consequences for harming animals from now on. Tennessee State Representative Darren Jernigan notes:
“If you’re going to burn a cat or kick a dog, you’re going to pay for it.”
The Benefits of the Statewide Animal Abuse Registry
As a result, the spokesperson for the Humane Society of Tennessee Valley, Amber Mullins, sees this as a two-fold benefit for the animal community.
- By registering known abusers, animals can be kept out of their hands, while tracking the abusers
- Therefore, the law provides a disincentive to deter people from committing animal abuse in the future
Because it’s public record, anyone can access the registry, including the general public, animal rescue groups and animal shelters. They can check the website’s list before rehoming a pet or finalizing a pet adoption.
Some states now make animal abuse convicts register much like sex offenders. Continue to the next page to learn more…