Animal abuser registry could be coming soon

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JACKSON, Tenn. — Animal lovers call it a step in the right direction for the state.

“We have actually had cases where someone has been tried and convicted in other counties and other states,” Lori Collins said. “Yet they have moved here and acquired horses and done the exact same thing.” State leaders hope to prevent that from happening through the new Animal Abuser Registry Act, aimed at holding animal abusers accountable. If convicted of a criminal offense against animals, the bill would require the offender to register online for two years. “Animal neglect and animal cruelty is being taken seriously, and there are great strides happening in Tennessee and it is just great to watch,” Melissa Floyd said. Redemption Road Rescue says this new law will help them better protect animals. They help rehabilitate horses and other animals that can no longer be taken care of or are neglected. It takes about $74,000 a year to run Redemption Road Rescue. Since 2009, the rescue says they have rescued more than 250 horses and that a new law like this could prevent that number from growing. According to the bill, the registry will be created by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The list will be online and available to the public, and if the person on the list is convicted again, then their picture would stay up for another five years. It would be a tool Collins says her team could use to prevent animals from getting into the wrong hands. “We will actually develop a team that will do nothing but that their job will be to keep tabs of those convicted in animal cruelty,” Collins said.

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