Md. Lawmaker Wants To Create Animal Abuse Registry

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Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — One Maryland lawmaker says enough is enough when it comes to animal abuse. Now he’s proposing a bill that would create an animal abuse registry in the state.

Meghan McCorkell has more details on the plan.

Senator Ronald Young says since his office started talking about an animal abuse registry, they’ve gotten tons of calls from animal rights advocates who say the state needs this now.

A helpless Yorkshire Terrier was tossed off of a Baltimore County balcony. In October, 150 cats were found in squalid conditions inside a Thurmont home. More than 60 of them were dead. Then, there’s a man accused of beating kittens to death, then going to a pet store, getting another and doing it all over again.

“All of a sudden, I’m hearing about cases all over the state,” Young said.

That’s why he’s taking a stand and proposing a bill to create an animal abuse registry to help prevent convicted abusers from getting another animal.

“We want pet stores and humane societies and whatever to check. `Oh, you’re on the animal abuse registry. You can’t get another pet,'” Young said.

If the bill passes, an animal abuser’s photo and address would be listed in the registry for 10 years. It would be public and on a website, so neighbors could also see if an offender lives in their community.

“This really sends a message that this felony crime is going to be taken seriously,” said Aileen Gabbey.

Gabbey, who’s with the Maryland SPCA, says a registry would be an invaluable tool for all rescue groups.

“I think it will help groups both big and small to be able to have access to consolidated information,” Gabbey said.

Information that could prevent a helpless animal from getting into the wrong hands.

Young plans to introduce the animal abuse registry bill next week. The proposed legislation is modeled after an animal abuse registry that’s already in effect in Massachusetts.

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