New York City residents with a history of animal abuse may be facing more stringent barriers when trying to own pets thanks to a new proposal in City Council. Councilman Peter Vallone introduced a bill that would create a database for people convicted of animal abuse crimes.
The registry would be available to pet stores, pounds, humane societies, animal control centers, law enforcement agencies and the general public. However, there will be limitations on the amount of years, starting from five years for their first offense, that offenders are listed. A bill that protects animals from abusers is long overdue. Our current system leaves loopholes for those who have practiced animal cruelty to purchase or even adopt new victims.
The absence of harsh penalties and high standards for basic animal care makes it easy for offenders to repeat their crimes. This new bill calls for a public registry, which would put up a fence to prevent continued animal cruelty and allows other members of the community to see whether their neighbors have committed animal abuse.
While this bill is a step in the right direction, it is not a panacea for the problem of animal abuse. Unlike victims of sexual abuse who are usually able to voice their trauma and contact the authorities, animals are not endowed with the same capabilities. This makes it more difficult to apprehend abusers and leaves a large percentage without a leash. Nevertheless, any improvement is preferable to no improvement, especially when the social cost of creating and maintaining a registry is not too daunting.
Animal abusers are finally where they belong: in the doghouse. We are delighted that legislation has at long last been introduced to further the protection of some of the most vulnerable members of our society. The drawbacks of this bill are negligible, while the gains are immense.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Sept. 25 print edition. Email the WSN Editorial Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Weekend Roam: Little Germany
- WSN Editorial Board reflects on spring semester events
- Strawberry Festival promises delicious, intergalactic fun
- Clive Davis Institute collaborates with DJ Swivel
- Best places to dine on dumplings
- 'Heroes' is not super enough for Xbox Live film program launch
- NYU SLAM sees victory through 'badidas' campaign
- Victoria Ettore elected student council president
- Hester Street Fair hosts diverse vendors, delicious food