Proposed Registry Would Track Animal Abusers

By  | 

RENO, NV - What if you could keep track of animal abusers the way you keep track of sex offenders?

It's what one state senator and several animal groups want to do in a proposed law that would prevent convicted animal abusers from owning another pet.

Senator Mark Manendo, who represents District 21 in the Las Vegas area, says he wants to do more to ensure animals aren't being sold or adopted to people who have a history of animal abuse.

Manendo says he is writing legislation that would create a state registry listing people who have a record.

Shelters and animal sellers can then check this registry before they place a pet into a new owner's hands.

The animal abuser's registry would follow the template of the sex offender registry and would be kept current with full names to give animal sellers a way to know their pets are not going to the wrong homes.

The state senator says the proposal was sparked by a case in which a Las Vegas man, Jeremy Espiritu, killed his parents' dog by slitting its throat.

On top of making these names public, the legislation would also ban these abusers from owning a pet again.

A similar bill failed in 2011 because it required the law enforcement to maintain the registry, and local government officials said it would have pulled valuable and already-strained resources from public safety duties.

However, this time, this proposed law will rely on animal non-profits to keep the registry updated.

Certain groups, like the Nevada Political Action for Animals, have expressed interest in shouldering that responsibility.

pponents say that the registry would publicly shame mentally unstable people whose names would be on the list and can't know better.

It will be some time before this law is passed. The next legislative session isn't until 2015.