Animal Abuser Registry Aims to Reduce Animal Cruelty in Onondaga County

Mar 20, 2017

Onondaga County is taking steps to reduce animal abuse in Central New York. Sheriff Eugene Conway today announced that his office would create and host an animal abuser registry to prevent animals from falling into the hands of abusers.

Onondaga County Sheriff Eugene Conway talks about a new registry system for animal abusers currently under construction that would help place animals in the right hands once implemented in the near future.
Credit Jason Chen / WAER News

“Animal cruelty is a serious problem, and while New York has criminalized the cruel treatment of animals, animal abuse and cruelty continues to occur here in Onondaga County and elsewhere.”

Second Chance canine shelter President Kim Smith-Ford says there is a connection between animal abuse and child abuse. She believes the registry will provide an extra layer of protection and could prevent further abuses.

“They prey on animals because they can’t defend themselves, because they’re easy prey, then they go on to kids for the same reason  they’re able to exploit them easier. A lot of very, very serious crimes as far as serial killers and murderers in their past started out by killing dogs and cats.”

The Sheriff says the new system would work with existing registries, and the resources will be shared across animal shelters and pet sellers.

“A person found guilty of an animal abuse crime would be required to provide their name, their date of birth, address, and a photo for inclusion on the registry. Those on the registry would be forbidden from possessing, owning, adopting, or purchasing an animal for a defined period of time.”

The county legislature still needs to review and vote on the registry, which comes at no cost to taxpayers.  If approved, it will be the first of its kind in Central New York.