New York City Takes Small Step Forward By Starting Animal Abuser Black
Thanks to a tenacious former City Councilman and his brother, New York City is planning to lead the charge when it comes to nipping animal abuse in the bud.
Peter Vallone Jr. said his catalyst behind introducing the bill back in 2012 was the killing of a dog that was thrown out a window by his body-builder owner. Vallone worked to get jail time for the “creep” but realized that upon release he would be free to adopt another dog.
His original bill was passed by City Council in 2013, and then over-turned by then mayor Michael Bloomberg. Hmm… am I the only one wondering why?
Vallone’s brother Paul joined Council in 2014 and since that time has worked tirelessly with his sibling to over-ride the veto. They won and the city’s first-ever blacklist that will help prevent animals going to abusive homes, is now up and running!
The list functions like a sex offender registry and will ultimately contain the names of those convicted of specific animal abuse crimes as of October 2, 2014.
My excitement over this slam-dunk wanes a little when I read that those managing the data base are reaching out to the city’s district attorneys so they can alert people convicted of hurting animals to register for the list. Huh? It’s voluntary?
After a brief interview with said individual, officials will determine whether the abuser is required to register. Again, I’m thinking that if the D.A. already has your name, doesn’t that suggest you should be considered a bad risk? Why the waffling?
Abusers will remain on the registry for a mere five years and if they have been incarcerated, the five year period will kick in after release.
I think I prefer the one adapted by Orange County, New York where anyone convicted of animal abuse has to register with the sheriff within five days of being convicted /released from incarceration or be subject to a misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to a year in jail and maximum fine of $2,000. Abusers will stay on the registry for 15 years, but would be reinstated for life if they are convicted again of abusing an animal. And those caught selling to a registered abuser face fines and penalties as well.
The less aggressive New York City’s list is intended to tip off law enforcement, pet stores, and animal shelters of the abusive histories of potential owners and to prevent them walking out the door with another victim. Peter Vallone Jr., states that “Other cities and states have looked at what we have done here in NYC to protect our animals, and are doing the same.” Actually Peter, they’re doing more. But baby steps – it’s all about baby steps in the right direction.
[Source: NY Daily News]
More by Mary Simpson