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Long Island legislators crack down on animal abusers

Animal abusers who fail to register could be fined up to $1,000 and spend a year in  jail.
Getty Images/file photo

· Long Island’s Nassau County has approved a bill to launch an online registry of people convicted of abusing animals, as well as forbidding local shelters and pet stores from giving pets to those on the list, which will be operated by the county’s SPCA. Convicted abusers will also have to register with police, providing photos of themselves as well as their names and addresses, as well as pay an annual fee of $100. Failure to register could bring a maximum fine of $1,000 and a year of jail-time. The bill also incorporates a request by local Democrats that the registry be forwarded to social services, as a means of identifying people who may also be a danger to children.

“There is an undeniable connection between animal abuse and child abuse,” noted Legis. David Deneberg (D-Merrick).

In the meantime neighboring Suffolk County (which already has an animal abuse registry in place) has passed a law forbidding anyone to keep a dog tied up outside for more than 2 hours during a 12-hour stretch. The new bill, which was unanimously passed week also mandates that all chains or other tethers attached to a “fixed structure be at least 10 feet long, and cannot weigh more than 25% of the animal’s body weight (with a maximum weight of 25 lbs), and must not restrict oxygen or blood to the dog’s brain.” Violators will incur a $500 fine.

“Idea is to target abusers who leave their dogs outside over night and in bad weather,” stated the bill’s sponsor Leg. Louis D’Amaro (D-Babylon). In addition, Kayra Dorn, president of Unchained New York, noted that not only can dogs become entangled in their chains, and the tethers often prevent the animals from reaching food and water.
“Left untended, the tethers can also become infected and dig into the dogs’ necks. Sometimes we even have to use bolt cutters to remove them,” she added.

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