Initiative spotlights convicted animal abusers

If a state task force has its way, it could soon be easier to monitor convicted animal abusers in Connecticut.

Eli, the In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot.
In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot Eli catching up on the latest news. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

Back in October, the co-chairman of the Task Force for the Humane Treatment of Animals classified an initiative calling for the creation of “an animal abuse offender tracking system” as “one of the major proposals for legislation” in 2016.

Existing laws providing for the implementation and management of so-called registries will likely serve as the basis for the proposal, which should be finalized this month and submitted to Connecticut lawmakers when they convene in February.

According to a 2014 report prepared by Connecticut’s Office Of Legislative Research such regulations are already on the books in New York, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Texas and Massachusetts. The report also cites a “model animal abuser registry law” published by The Animal Legal Defense Fund in 2010.

The ALDF’s model law defines an “animal abuser” as a person over eighteen
years of age who has been convicted of a felony violation of [any animal protection
statute] of this state or of the comparable statutes of another state. It mandates when and where an offender must register; the circumstances under which re-registration is required; the personal information the offender must supply; the information the offender must submit pertaining to the incident(s) that resulted in conviction; and the submission of photographs, fingerprints and other identifying characteristics to the law enforcement agency in charge of the registry. It also governs how long an offender must remain on the registry.