Animal abusers registering like sex offenders in Tennessee

Mobile, AL (WKRG) — A new law recently passed in Tennessee is gaining popularity nationwide. The law would require animal abusers to register similar to how sex offenders have to register. The registry would publicly reveal names, date of birth, offense, conviction date, and expiration date of known animal abuser.

News 5 spoke with Janine Woods with the Mobile SPCA about the chances of a similar passing in Alabama. Woods says it would be a good law, but she does not believe it would pass based on the difficulty faced trying to pass other legislation regarding animals rights, “It’s absolutely one of the most difficult things in the world to get a bill to go through the legislature and get out of committee.”

According to Woods a number of simpler bills never made it past the 2017 legislative session to pass laws like defining what is considered shelter for an animal. According to Alabama law someone must commit a felony crime against an animal in order for it to be charged with animal cruelty. Woods say it’s hard to charge someone because most people can tell the judge they did not know what they were doing was a felony.

Woods feels it will take a powerful lawmaker to get legislation passed for animal rights in the state, “I think it’s going to take a lot of pressure on the legislature from a lot of people that have a lot of power to get them to get the legislature to do something.”

Counties in other states have created their own local systems for similar laws. Until a law like that is passed in our state or the county, the Greater Humane Society encourages anyone who witnesses suspected to cruelty to animals to call your local animal control agency.

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