Chautauqua Co. lawmakers approve creation of animal abuser registry

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Chautauqua County has joined a handful of other counties in New York State in requiring people convicted of animal abuse charges to be on an online registry for everyone to see.

The Chautauqua County Legislature unanimously approved the measure creating the registry Wednesday night.

The new local law will require any one convicted of any of 16 crimes against animals to register with the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office within five days of their judgment or release from jail or face new charges and a fine.

MORE | Click here to see the full language of the local law, including the list of crimes covered by it. (See pages 4-8 of the document)

The goal, according to the language of the law passed this week, is to prevent animal abusers from adopting, buying, or otherwise getting animal again.

The law points out people who have abused animals are likely to abuse animals again and are statistically more likely to commit violent crimes against humans.

Now, those who have been convicted of animal abuse will have to have their name, address, photo and more posted on the online registry, which will be maintained by the Sheriff’s Office, for 15 years.

There will be a link to the registry on the Chautauqua County website, and any person or organization will be legally required to check the registry before adopting out, selling, or otherwise giving an animal to anyone. Failure to check the registry could lead to up to a $5,000 fine.

New York State lawmakers are considering a similar law to create a registry for animal abusers.

Niagara County also has an animal abuser registry, already. Click here to see our earlier coverage about the registry there and the local push for the statewide registry.

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