Plan For Colorado Animal Abuse Registry Bill Fails

DENVER (AP) – A proposal to create an online registry for animal cruelty convicts akin to databases for sex offenders failed Monday as Colorado lawmakers worried that it would unfairly label some people.

Supporters of the legislation argued that people who mistreat animals are at a higher risk of committing much more serious crimes. Karen L. Naiman, who testified in support of the bill, listed several serial killers that reportedly mistreated animals. But Democratic Rep. Roger Wilson said he was concerned people on the registry would be unfairly stereotyped.

“If all animal abusers were listed in a public registry, would there not be some implication then, with their name there, that they in fact were capable of some more heinous crime and might be considered possible serial killers and rapists, and therefore I would not want them living next to me, and therefore exclude them from society altogether?” he asked.

House lawmakers rejected the proposal sponsored by Democratic Rep. Jeanne Labuda on a 9-3 committee vote. House Bill 1087 would have required adults convicted of cruelty to animals to register with the Department of Public Safety. They would also alert authorities where they live.

The first animal abuser registry was set up in Suffolk County, N.Y. Similar registries have been considered in a handful of states.

Labuda said the registry would only be implemented if the Department of Public Safety could contract with a nonprofit agency that would be responsible for maintenance and costs. People on the registry would remain on it for five years. Labuda said the registry would not apply to livestock owners.

Labuda said a registry would allow animal shelters to screen potential adopters and alert law enforcement about residents with a history of hoarding animals.

Opponents of the bill said there is no evidence that having such a registry would prevent animal abuse or other serious crimes.

“We don’t think it serves any purpose,” said Linda Hart, with the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs. “We also feel this bill would be even more restrictive toward the (animal) offenders than our child abuse laws or drunk drivers. Those people do not have their faces or their home addresses listed on a website online.”

LINK: House Bill 1087

– By Ivan Moreno, AP Writer

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Amanda

    Well if someone IS an animal abuser I wouldn’t want them living next to me. Just like I wouldn’t want a sexual predator living next door to me either. Neither are good people.

  • Chunk

    Pretty sad that you chose not to protect the voiceless and innocent that have no way to defend themselves.

  • denvervet

    Lets just tatoo their faces on both sides with a depiction of them abusing animals! They could use graphic coloring and maybe even an inscription explaining their act. Accross their forehead we can write “CONVICTED ANIMAL ABUSER”…………sound good? It does to me. I LOVE animals and just can’t see how someone can abuse them, jesus!

  • asodeska

    This is a statement about the intelligence of our politicians.
    So many of them do not realize that people who abuse animals have something wrong with them, and the public needs to be aware of who they are and where they live.
    An animal today, a child tomorrow.
    Very sad.

  • Alan

    I think they know all these things mentioned in the above comments, they just choose not to acknowledge any of it. The same goes for those who refuse to punish these acts, they all make me sick with disgust

  • Houdini

    Albeit a reasonable idea, I believe it was a good thing this did not pass. If one has to dispatch an injured animal and someone does not like how it was done, reports you courts feel you could have done it in a different manner and now you have to register as an animal abuser. Discipline/train your dog in an un-orthidox way and you have tp register as an abuser. We have laws on the books that cover animal abuse. What next? Register alcoholics who go to AA?

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