Animal abuser registry proposed for Onondaga County

SYRACUSE (WSYR-TV) - There is a local push by local law enforcement and advocates for more protection for abused or neglected animals in Onondaga County.

They are proposing an animal abuser registry to keep animals safe.

Advocates and law enforcement see several cases of animal cruelty or abuse each month in Onondaga County. From malnourished cats and dogs, to deplorable living conditions and severe neglect has prompted a call for an animal abuser registry, protecting those who don't have a voice.

"A person found guilty of an animal abuse crime would have to provide their name, date of birth address and a photo to include on the registry," said Sheriff Gene Conway of Onondaga County.

The county legislature would create a local law establishing the registry and defining the crimes, and then the Sheriff's Office would create the database on its website at no cost to taxpayers and link it to other registries in the state.

"Those on the registry would be forbidden from possessing owning or purchasing an animal for a defined period of time," said Sheriff Conway.

Animal shelters or pet sellers would also be required to check the registry before placing a pet in a home, cutting down on repeat abusers.

"Some people who have abused animals, but haven't gone through full legal process but find their way back to adopt dogs or cats, we're hoping the registry will avoid some of that," said Stefanie Heath-Higgins of 'Cuse Pit Crew.

County legislators will introduce it to the public safety committee next month and then transition to the legislature in June and pending a public hearing with the county executive, lawmakers hope to have it in place by summer.

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