|Posted:||December 9, 2020 04:21 PM|
|From:||Representative Melissa L. Shusterman|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Animal Abuse Registry|
|In 2015, Tennessee became the first state to adopt a statewide animal abuser registry, with at least one dozen other states and countless local governments introducing similar measures in previous years. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is not one of these states - a loophole exists in our laws which allow individuals convicted of animal cruelty to go undetected. Able to purchase or adopt animals, and with no way to quickly check for a past history of abuse, offenders are given the opportunity to continue these heinous acts.
To prevent any further unnecessary pain, my legislation would require individuals convicted of an animal abuse crime to register their personal information and the offense for which they were convicted. This information would be kept on the registry for seven years for a first offense, 15 years for a second offense, and, for three or more offenses, life. The county sheriff would be responsible for maintaining a local registry and forwarding all information to the Pennsylvania State Police to maintain a publicly accessible central registry.
As elected officials, it is our duty to protect every Pennsylvanian, including our animal friends and family members who cannot speak for themselves. Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to close this dangerous loophole.