Now that animal abuse is being taken far more seriously than ever before, more and more jurisdictions are altering their laws to reflect this new reality. A number of United States jurisdictions have now made laws that require the names of animal abusers to be displayed in a registry that is similar to the ones that are used for sex offenders.
These registries are designed with the objective of keeping people who have harmed animals in the past from ever having the chance to do so again and they are a welcome addition to the lawmaking policies of places as disparate as New York City and Tampa.
Retail outlets and shelters no longer have an excuse when it comes to providing animals to those who have a history of abuse, as they are required to have a prospective adopter read and sign an affidavit that provides assurance that they are not on the registry.
If you are a regular person who is in search of a pet sitter while you are away on vacation, these registries also take on added value, allowing you to vet candidates more readily and do the proper research before potentially leaving your animals in harm’s way.
Not all states have these registries yet, but more and more are singing on throughout the country.
Don’t forget that neglect is also a form of animal abuse. Animal neglect is the failure to provide basic care required for an animal to thrive. At first glance, such cases may seem less egregious than a single, brutal act of violent abuse, but severe neglect can mean extended periods of extreme suffering resulting in permanent injury or death. A single large-scale neglect case can affect hundreds of animals, as in cases of hoarding, puppy mills and farm neglect.
Where to Report Animal Cruelty
In New York City
If you live in New York City and need to report animal cruelty, please contact 311. To report crimes in progress in any borough, please call 911.
In New Jersey
If you believe you have witnessed animal cruelty in the state of New Jersey and would like to report it, please call the NJSPCA at (800) 582-5979 or fill out NJSPCA’s online form.
In Other Areas
Find out who is responsible for investigating and enforcing the anti-cruelty codes in your town, county and/or state, such as your local humane organization, animal control agency, taxpayer-funded animal shelter or police precinct. If you have trouble finding the correct agency to contact, call or visit your local police department or your local shelter or animal control agency for assistance.