Cook County Board approved an Animal Abuser Registry

Date: 
05/13/2016
DogHlprs

Having been approved by the Cook County Board Law Enforcement Committee despite objections from the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, a Cook County Animal Abuser Registry was approved by the Cook County Board of Commissioners on Wed., May 11, according to Commissioner John Fritchey, who introduced the proposal with support from Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart

Under this plan convicted animal abusers will be prohibited from buying or adopting a companion animal for 15 years after their conviction, and for life for those with more than one previous offense. 

Mochi

The Registry will be a database created by the Cook County Sheriff's Office and hosted on their website. Anyone convicted of animal abuse will be required to register. Animal abuse includes dog fighting, animal torture and aggravated cruelty. 

The convicted person will register their name, address and headshot photo in the database. Failure to register would result in a fine up to $2,000. 

In addition they would be barred from owning animals, unless they are disabled and needs a service animal. Violation of this condition would put the offender in a position of receiving a fine of up to $5,000. 

Prior to selling or adopting out an animal to any individual, pet shops, shelters and rescues will be required to check the registry. Each would face fines for providing a pet to someone on the registry: up to $1,000 for the first offense, up to $2,000 for a second and up to $5,000 for a third. 

It also prohibits other people from purchasing or adopting an animal on behalf of a person on the registry or from purchasing or adopting an animal if that person shares the same address with someone who is registered. 

The ordinance would also requires pet shops, shelters and rescues to check the registry before selling or adopting an animal. Each would face fines for providing a pet to someone on the registry: up to $1,000 for the first offense, up to $2,000 for a second offense, and up to $5,000 for a third. 

Individuals are prohibited from purchasing or adopting an animal on behalf of a person on the registry or from purchasing or adopting an animal if that person shares the same address with someone who is registered. 

Objections from the Illinois Retail Merchants Association came from Tanya Triche, an attorney for the retail association as reported in the Chicago Tribune. "While no one wants people who've been convicted of abusing animals to cause harm to other animals, we also don't want our store associates to be placed in a position where they confront a potential convicted abuser. 

"The data is clear that people who abuse animals have violent tendencies toward people as well. Business owners should be protected from over regulation, and we ask that you keep their employees in mind who would have to deal with the consequences of an angry convicted animal abuser."

Names in the database will be for offenders convicted after the law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2017. It will cover all Cook County municipalities including the City of Chicago. 

 

 

 

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