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Penfield Post
  • Legislation would create animal abuser registry in Monroe County

  • Local legislators and animal advocates presented new legislation Wednesday that would create a registry for those convicted of animal abuse in Monroe County.



    If passed into law, this legislation would require the person's name to be listed in a public database and prevent him or her from owning a pet for 10 years.

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  • Local legislators and animal advocates presented new legislation Wednesday that would create a registry for those convicted of animal abuse in Monroe County.
    If passed into law, this legislation would require the person's name to be listed in a public database and prevent him or her from owning a pet for 10 years.
    The registry would serve as a resource for pet sellers and adoption agencies, who would be required to check the registry before transferring ownership of an animal.
    County Legislator Willie Lightfoot (D-Rochester) said the growing number of animal cruelty cases, including dogfighting, hoarding, and general neglect of pets, does not just cause harm to the animals themselves.
    "Unfortunately, we also know that people who abuse animals are much more likely to commit violence against a person," said Lightfoot. "It is our hope that having this information available to the public, it may serve as a deterrent to make people think twice before they make a mistake that will cost them for many years to come."
    Alice Calabrese, president and CEO of Lollypop Farm, agreed.
    "Ultimately, we believe this will make our community a safer place and raise awareness to the plight of animals," said Calabrese.
    Lollypop receives more than 1,200 calls to report animal abuse — ranging from improper shelter, lack of food or shelter, to outright cruelty.
    The legislation must next be passed in the Monroe County Legislature to become law. It would require those convicted of animal abuse to pay $100 fine for every year their name is listed in the registry.
    "Violence should not be tolerated whether you're human or whether you're an animal," said Reno DiDomenico, law enforcement officer at Lollypop. "Violence is violence and should be stopped, especially in Rochester."
    Dog owners shared their reactions after the presentation at the dog park in Ellison Park.
    Brighton resident Debbie Gruber brought her two rescue dogs to run around and go for a swim in the pond nearby. She said the proposed legislation is "right on the money" when it comes to keeping pets safe.
    "This is something that's desperately needed," said Gruber.. "I think a registry like this is sorely needed and I'm totally in favor of it."
     
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