Discussion: Yay or Nay on a National Animal Abuse Database?

Regular readers know that I have long supported the idea of having a national database of animal abusers as a tool for shelters (as well as rescues, breeders and everyone else who gives or sells pets to strangers) to help protect animals.  I believe a brief adoption application, a photo ID (verifying the applicant’s name, address and date of birth) and a check for animal cruelty convictions should be the only screening methods used by any facility which kills animals.

In the absence of an official national database, we have use of the internet to search for animal cruelty convictions.  But a well organized and monitored database containing reliable criminal conviction data from state records would be superior.  Such a tool may be available soon:

An animal rights group out of California is creating a national database of convicted animal abusers. The Animal Legal Defense Fund of Cotati, California is asking states to provide public data in hopes of alerting adoption centers of convicted animal abusers.

HSUS however issued the following statement of opposition:

“Animal cruelty—like other crimes—must be reported, classified, and analyzed in a comprehensive manner that results in swift and efficient enforcement of the law and the general improvement of society. It is not clear that the current round of proposals to create a public registry database would materially advance these goals. In fact, it probably does nothing to help these people learn a new way of viewing and treating animals. Strengthening the human-animal bond is our ultimate goal, not deepening the break. We must utilize what energy and resources we can muster on the most effective approaches to the scourge of cruelty.”

Civil liberties groups also object to the registry on the grounds that it will be used to publicly shame individuals.

I asked several animal advocates for their thoughts on the cruelty database.  They raise some interesting points.

Nathan Winograd, director of the No Kill Advocacy Center:

I would rather this be in the hands of accountable public officials, but in the absence of that, giving people with animals access to legally accurate information so that they can protect the animals in their care is important. As I wrote previously, “By knowing the right lies to tell and which truths to omit, convicted animal abusers can potentially acquire animals even from those who are dedicated to their protection but are currently forced to operate in a state of ignorance simply because they lack access to valuable information that would help them make better, more informed choices about the animals in their care.” Although this was written to support a model law, the proposed database likewise would “strip abusers of this advantage and prevent future animal abuse with nothing more than a few simple strokes of a keyboard.” As to HSUS, this is another example of their putting abusers before animals.

Christie Keith, journalist and shelter pet advocate:

In general, I oppose anything that reinforces the widely held and false idea that there is an army of animal abusers lining up to adopt pets from shelters and rescue groups. The hysterical aversion to Craigslist, draconian adoption policies, and onerous screening and application processes are hindrances, not helps, to finding good homes. I also have a concern that this registry would simply reflect the unfairness of our criminal justice system, with its heavy bias against the poor and people of color.

All that said, as a journalist, I believe in the right of the public to be able to easily obtain public information. To say that public information should be available, just hard to find, is hypocritical.

If civil liberties groups like the ACLU — an organization I normally support — want to end the public availability of criminal convictions and trial records after a sentence is served, they can advocate for that. But to oppose putting this public information in a searchable database so citizens can access it seems contrary to the ACLU’s own beliefs.

Ann Brownell, board vice president at UPAWS:

In my personal opinion I think it is a good idea. We have a “Do Not Adopt” list that we check for every adoption we do, but personally I think to have a larger database to check would be a benefit. The bottom line for shelter and rescues is protecting the pets they are finding new homes for. It would not be the intent to shame anyone. I am all for people getting help and being rehabilitated. But if they are habitual and convicted animal abusers, shelters and rescues should be able to get that information for the sake of the lives they are saving, rescuing and protecting.

Denice Ryan Martin, Wisconsin Voters for Companion Animals:

I think that all the major animal welfare groups (ALDF, Best Friends, No Kill Advocacy, HSUS, ASPCA, American Humane Assocation) should collaborate on this critical issue. They should start a healthy dialogue with each other and settle on a model that makes sense for all fifty states and that legislators will embrace on fiscal, practical, policy and emotional levels.

If the ALDF model, or a version of it, makes sense, then all the groups should endorse it. If we all present a united force against animal abusers, then perhaps positive change will take place.

What are your thoughts on a national database of animal abusers? As an adopter, would you object to having your name searched in the database by an organization from which you wanted to obtain a pet? As someone giving or selling pets to strangers, would you make use of such a national registry in screening applicants? What potential benefits and/or downsides might an animal abuse registry offer that currently do not exist?

40 thoughts on “Discussion: Yay or Nay on a National Animal Abuse Database?

  1. I agree that an animal abuse registry is a good idea. I live in NY and I know there have been talks about one being started in some of the counties here. Last I heard they were voting on it this year, but I didn’t hear if it was passed (it wasn’t for my county). I am find with my name being searched on if I adopt an animal – in fact I would be a little surprised if it didn’t happen! I expect them to do their due diligence in figuring out if the home would be a good one and I would be a hypocrite if I objected to them doing their research on me.

    I know that one of the objections with the sex offender registry is that you can have things like an 18 year old having sex with his 17 year old girlfriend, or someone urinating in public and it isn’t always so easy to tell that they aren’t actually a danger to anyone. I am having a hard time coming up with something similar for animal abuse.

    1. As with anything reliant upon our somewhat faulty judicial system, there are bound to be some downsides to the registry. The parallel you draw to the sex abuse registry is relevant. The most famous animal abuser of our generation is Michael Vick and of course he would not appear in the database, having never been convicted of animal cruelty. He was able to get another dog when he wanted one and interestingly, Wayne Pacelle of HSUS backed him and said he’d be a good pet owner. On the flip side, there are bound to be some cruelty convictions in the database that, in an ideal world, would contain an asterisk with a detailed explanation. The question is, would the potential benefits outweigh the potential negatives. I think they would.

      1. I think that not being on the list shouldn’t = therefor not an animal abuser. The only people on the list are people who were actually caught and convicted. Anyone who uses the list can’t lose sight of this and assume that if you aren’t on the list you are okay. Additional checking (such as the ones already done) should still be done.

        I am curious what you convictions you think need the detailed explanation. I tried to think of one that would be like the ones I mentioned with the sex registry, but I can’t think of a case where I would think that it wasn’t actually abuse.

      2. An example might be a feral cat colony feeder repeatedly cited for “allowing pets to roam”. I think in some jurisdictions, repeated offenses of this nature can result in a cruelty misdemeanor.

      3. One that comes to mind is Albuquerque, NM’s “animal welfare” law that classifies any violation as a cruelty offense. This includes citation for off-leash dog — or USING A LEASH THAT IS TOO LONG — not surgically sterilizing, withholding water for any reason (say, prior to surgery).

        It’s a law designed to enable selective enforcement against anyone that pisses off the PTB.

        The section of my puppy contract that deals with animal cruelty convictions or charges specifically exempts the Albuquerque law.

  2. I think this is “create a crisis” mode.. how many people have gotten their dogs from shelters and then “abused” them? That might be a place to start.. proof that such a registry is need.. on the flip side .. how many people will be turned off to going to shelter if they know that there will be a complete background check on them? and why is that necessary? Sex abuse registries have failed miserably to prevent any type of abuse. many people are still on that registry that should not be..just the other day you posted about people who are accused and often prosecuted as “hoarders” or “abusers” when the just needed help.. will an 80 year old whose dogs had mats and long toe nails now be on the registry.. where do you draw the line? Personally I vote not on something that will never help any animal and could indeed kill some but not at the hands of the new owners..

    1. “how many people will be turned off to going to shelter if they know that there will be a complete background check on them?”

      This is one of the reasons I support the cruelty database – because without one, some shelters and rescues are running “complete background checks” to check a person’s criminal convictions and I believe that is discouraging adopters. People convicted of check fraud for example might be too embarrassed to save a shelter pet’s life if they know that issue is going to come up in the adoption process.

      1. This. Shelters are already attempting to weed out abusers with much more draconian and poorly targeted methods…at least this way they’re looking at the right information. It might encourage shelters to stop more intrusive background checks and stop the fear that ANYONE EVERYWHERE could be an abuser.

        I’m not really sure I understand the HSUS’s objection. They seem to be saying it doesn’t target the root cause of cruelty, and therefore isn’t worthwhile? It seems to me like those are two different issues…you can target the root cause in other ways to prevent future cruelty, while still protecting the animals alive right now from those known to abuse. It isn’t one or the other.

        The only concern I do agree with is that the database may well contain individuals who are good pet owners and were unfairly targeted. A situation like with Annette Traore, for example. But I also agree that if such information is available, you can’t simply make it difficult to find.

      2. Interesting. What you say about overall background checks actually tips me away from a delineated animal cruelty dB.

        Would you adopt a dog or cat to someone who had recent convictions for child abuse?

  3. an * will neve be enough to explpain who is a serious abuser and who is not.. a thing like this is bound to get out of hand and never save a single animal

  4. My name is not common yet I know there are about half a dozen people in the US with the same first and last name. At least two of them are not totally upstanding citizens. I know this due to contacts by law enforcement and collection agencies. So what happens when one of them correctly gets added to the list? Am I forever banned from adopting? This is currently a problem with the (I hope) well managed No-Fly list. How likely is it that a over burdened shelter worker will call the various agencies to discern whether I am Grahund The Good or Grahund The Bad?

  5. I do not support a national animal abuse registry/database because of the potential for abuse of people. Animal rights is NOT the same as animal welfare, and AR-led organizations like ALDF put animals before people, and in our society that is just not acceptable, even though right now it appears often to be “politically correct”. The vast majority of people are FOR animal welfare, but there is a vocal minority that insists that any instance of abuse or neglect, even if it’s an upset water bowl when someone inspects or a dog needing its teeth cleaned, makes the person an abuser. That is a MAJOR problem with an animal abuser registry/database, particularly if it is run or heavily influenced by one of the AR-led organizations.

    Who operates the database? ALDF has sure stepped up to the plate, and that is a HUGE concern, because their stated goal is to elevate animals legally (to equal humans, or in the case of the AR-led organizations, animals should be considered above humans).

    What constitutes abuse for purposes of this database? Who decides when one is put on it? Is it after a conviction where the person may have been railroaded because they didn’t have the finances to fight back or were emotionally too weak to fight back? Does a plea deal because one cannot afford to fight the “system” put them on the list? Do they ever get off? Will they be harassed by zealots even if what they did was minor and/or unintentional? Lots of questions here. Obviously, I don’t trust the animal rights-led organizations to lead this, as their agenda is not the same as animal welfare organizations (unless the AW organization is led by an AR *true believer*, in which case, “when in doubt, put them on it and make them suffer” is the philosophy).

    I know that rescues and shelters see the worst of animal ownership and that has to color what they believe, but allowing blatantly AR-led organizations to legally persecute people (based on what may be a minor correctable offense, NOT intentional abuse) is not acceptable. And in fact, it is sociopathic.

    It is of great concern to me that many AW people are letting the large AR-led organizations persecute and pound into the dirt humans, with the excuse that it’s for the sake of the animals. I think for the AR-led organizations, it’s mostly *using* the animals to *punish people* for having animals (and fundraising on the backs of animals), and that’s anti-societal, in my view. People need to use reason and common sense along with caring, so that those groups who use primarily emotional arguments to vilify others aren’t given the power to destroy human lives, as is currently happening all over the country with seizures under color of law, etc.

    Nope, I don’t see that anything good can come out of this other than AR-led organizations (and their brainwashed minions) having a list to persecute people, many of which do not deserve it. I am totally against a private organization that has a stated goal that is against societal/human interests have such access and power. We’ve already seen what H$U$, et al, have been able to accomplish through their influence in the AWA Final Rule just issued by the USDA APHIS–*using* government to eliminate home pet breeders.

  6. I guess I look at this and ask two questions.

    #1) have similar databases, such as the sex offenders databases, been successful at reducing the number of sexual offenders or repeat offenders? The data certainly doesn’t suggest that this is a slam dunk and may actually create more problems than it solves.

    #2) is there any reason to believe that animal abusers regularly get their animals from shelters? (the answer here is clearly no).

    So given that similar databases are costly to maintain, and don’t seem to have a positive impact, and that the #1 “benefit” to having a database seems to not be a problem, I don’t guess I think it’s worth the time, money, effort to create for no net benefit.

    While I completely agree that shelters doing full background checks on people is ridiculous, I think addressing that ridiculous policy instead of replacing it with another ineffective one seems to be a better solution. Besides, most of these orgs are doing fencing checks, landlord checks, etc, so I’m not sure you’ll stop those actions by use of an animal abuser database.

    Call me skeptical.

      1. How different are the definitions of “animal abuse” by state? Are particular actions considered abuse in one state but not a crime in another? Or are current differences mostly in the allowable sentences and punishments attached to generally consistent definitions of animal abuse?

        Is this an issue in the sex offender database?

  7. ADLF serving your rights to take animals out of your life forever..supporting mandatory spay neuter laws.. and more.. NO to them..Frankly I am surprised that this blog supports a “registry”..which is nothing more than a “punish them” list much like the stacks and pillories.. can anyone site a study that shows that many animals that are abused ( and i mean REALLY abused.. not just “neglected” come from shelters? I think not…agree 100% with Covault and Brent.. not needed.. and will hurt animals.. and people.. a solution looking for a problem not to mention a factory fund raising tool for animal rights groups like ADLF

  8. I have deep reservations.

    For one, as Brent states, there’s some real question about the effectiveness of sex offender registries, and one aspect of this – studies that have found a correlation with decreased convictions as more offenders are allowed to plea bargain for lesser nonspecific charges in order to avoid registry. As there already seems to be a problem with reluctance to prosecute and convict in cruelty cases, I find this especially troublesome.

    For another, like Christie, I think the registry would be profoundly affected by bias within the justice system, and as the animal welfare community also has its own problems with prejudice and bias, I fear this would magnify in use. On the other hand, yes, it could well be an improvement on background checks and databases of news articles on cruelty arrests.

    Also … I would have reservations about being searched on any such database, because I was a victim of identity theft in the late 70s and to this day it’s a part of my records. So, while ordinarily this never arises in such a context … I’d be concerned.

    So. I don’t know. I do think arguments can be made in support of the registry, but I’m not entirely convinced, and it worries me.

    1. These are all valid points and I’m glad these issues are being raised. I think the main difference between the sex offender registry and the animal abuse registry (if it comes to be) is that sex offenders are not out there trying to buy/adopt human beings to live with them in their homes. Perhaps a more realistic parallel between the two would be: Is it a good idea for human adoption agencies to put the name of adoption applicants into a sex offender database during screening? It would seem wise to me.

      Now I don’t want to venture too far down Hysteria Lane here and imply that I believe animal abusers are lurking in the shadows of shelter meet-and-greet rooms everywhere – I don’t. But I do think a registry would discourage convicted animal abusers from trying to adopt from any agency they know will run a check. The aim of the registry, realistically, is not to prevent animal abusers from getting any animal ever. There are some things we can not prevent in a free society – like evil people shooting up schools, for example. But we can try to put reasonable restrictions in place to slow these occurrences down.

      Hardly anyone who buys a gun is going to shoot up a school (statistically it’s probably in the zero percentile). But given the tragic nature of this relatively rare crime, we want to take action to try to prevent or at least reduce the likelihood of it happening. We don’t need to go extreme and say “No gun sales to anyone for any reason”, nor do we need to go extreme in the other direction, throw up our hands and say “No restrictions for anyone on any type of weapon anywhere because it won’t help anyway”. We can attempt to put some well thought out checks and balances in place as we try our best to make it harder for these relatively rare tragedies to develop. Doing nothing is clearly a loser in these type of scenarios to my mind. The question at hand here is whether an animal abuse registry is better than doing nothing.

      1. I have been monitoring the animal rights movement for many years, and found that any time an “animal rights”-led organization (and you can often tell by reading their mission statement, including how well they are sticking to it) wants to implement a program based on collecting personal info on animal owners for negative reasons, I am automatically very suspicious and my immediate reaction is NO.

        Another example of this, which may be challenged legally under RICO laws, is the A$PCA’s new USDA breeder website, which lists personal info, complaints and violations (which can be as minor as cobwebs in the corner), and *pictures* from USDA website of individual commercially licensed breeders. Yes, people could get that at the USDA website, BUT they would not see the vilifying language accompanying it like you do with the A$PCA site, which basically campaigns against (dog) breeders under the guise of “puppy mill” campaigns.

        Read the propaganda closely, and you will see that in A$PCA’s view, ANYONE who raises pets as a business is considered a “mill”. Other AR-led organizations have adopted that stance as well. When the PM term first came out, it was aimed toward substandard breeders, but it has morphed into ANY breeders, and not just commercial ones, in particular if breeders actually make money from breeding. Isn’t that the American way? So long as welfare standards are observed, why should it be damning to make a profit on animal enterprises? Some of the larger rescues certainly do, with their $million-plus bank accounts (but the perception is that they are “doing good works” and private animal enterprises are greedy profiteers–NOT true, of course, in the majority of cases). Complete nonsequitor here, but unless it is pointed out, too many just nod and accept the propaganda.

  9. To be specific about my concern regarding “bias.” If a poor person can’t afford to take care of a medical issue in a pet, they are far more likely to be charged with neglect or cruelty than a person of means, both because the person of means will understand better how to avoid repurcussions, and because the bias of society itself protects him.

    This holds true with all kinds of crime… for example, drug crimes. Marijuana usage is roughly equal for both African-American and Caucasian populations, but African-Americans are arrested for possession at nearly four times the rate white people are.

    Until 2010, possession of 5 grams of cocaine (with African-Americans having the highest use) in its crack form was a felony charge, but for powder cocaine (with white Americans having the highest use), it was 500 grams. In 2010 the level for crack was raised to 28 grams, but that’s still a disparity of 18-1.

    It is beyond naive to think this doesn’t operate in the world of animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect charges, too. And as was already mentioned, the animal welfare world is awash in racial and economic stereotyping.

    If I believed the convictions were fair and represented a person’s propensity to harm an animals, and if there was one iota of evidence that convicted abusers are trying to adopt from shelters, I’d feel more positively inclined toward this idea. As it is, I am not.

  10. Sorry in advance for the length of this. My concerns are:

    — I believe it could actually exacerbate the issue of overly exhaustive checks on potential adopters. That is, I don’t think this database would replace the checks that are being done now. I think it would simply be added.

    — I don’t think it would in any way lower the number of cruelty cases (per Brent).

    — It would likely intensify the already massive stereotyping of poor pet-owners, who are disproportionately minorities (per Christie).

    — I don’t for a moment believe that there would be asterisks with explanations, such as cases of feral cat feeders where the local laws prohibit feeding. To assume so would be to assume that the organization running the registry not only is progressive now, but that it will remain so indefinitely, and that they will forever have the will and the resources to explain all unjust listings, and why laws that were broken shouldn’t have existed in the first place. Innocent people could easily show up on the registry, and they would then be faced with an undue burden, that of getting themselves removed. And many of those who are most compassionate toward animals (feral cat feeders being the perfect example) would be the least likely to have the money to take legal action to get themselves taken off the list. I also see no explanation of what that process would be.

    — I don’t see any provision for people to be notified that they are on the registry so that, if they do have the resources, they could contest the listing. Not only could you be added even if you are innocent of what a normal person would consider a crime, but it could happen without your knowledge. I can’t imagine that there will be will and resources to make sure such notifications, and a process for removal, would be incorporated.

    — I don’t see any hint that the organization that wants to do this will accept input. There are no public hearings, and no other process for regular people to participate in its planning, unless they know about it and already have enough clout to have their opinion taken into consideration. Your average zoning decision will have more public input than this registry plan.

    — If someone’s conviction were overturned, that information might well never reach the database. I just don’t believe states would take the trouble to let the registry know if someone were “unconvicted.” I think listings would be permanent.

    — Of special concern to me is that states may cooperate with this registry by sending information to be incorporated into it. If they do, they will be sanctioning a privately held, privately operated database by voluntarily populating it with official information. There are already huge problems with private organizations (PETA, HSUS, the ASPCA, local humane societies and SPCAs) essentially being granted police powers to co-conduct raids, without due process for owners of pets, rescues and sanctuaries. I think this registry would simply reinforce the standing of such organizations, who in many instances have volunteered (and been allowed) to take a law enforcement role without their targets ever having a chance to object.

    “It’s not going to be this scrolling gallery and it won’t be involved with shaming or embarrassing anybody,” [Chris Green of ALDF] said.

    Actually, that’s exactly what it will become and what it will do.

    In short, there are reasons that governments run these things and not private parties.

    1. I agree with you on all counts. Not only are these private parties, they are parties with an agenda, an anti-societal one actually. Governments don’t do a great job with these kinds of tasks either, as they become bureaucrat-minded and rigid in many instances, but better at least to have a somewhat accountable bureaucracy than an unaccountable pet-owner-antagonistic private organization.

      1. And the pet abuse “registry” is a prime example of all of this. They do *nothing* to investigate the claims submitted. They *never* look at evidence submitted by the accused that would prove them innocent. Listings are *never* updated if the charges are dismissed or the person is found not guilty. There is zero accountability for the listings, yet so many people take it as the gospel.

        And the irony of it is, the animals are the ones who are left suffering. They are wrongfully stopping people from rescuing animals. And moreover, it is just one more push for people to buy from “puppy mills”, “backyard breeders”, and God forbid, Craigslist. The more hoops you put in place, the less likely people are going to “adopt” and opt for “shop”. And considering some of the adoption rates I am seeing lately, it is *cheaper* as well.

        The problems with the sex offender registry is enough proof as to why this is a bad idea. Parents with 17/16 year old daughters get mad that their “innocent little angel” is having sex and report their 18 year old boyfriend. On the news a few years ago they reported on this. In the case they used the parents of the daughter realized how wrong they were and tried to get the charges dropped. The DA told them it was too late. The teenagers later married, and they have children. He is still listed with all of the punishments that go with it.

        It is used to give someone the upper hand in a nasty divorce. I had a neighbor who got in a fight with his soon to be ex-wife. He grabbed her by the arm and shook her. Not a good thing to do, but at the same time it is not something worthy of sexual battery and a permanent listing on that website. Yet things like that happen everyday.

        And as was mentioned above, the existence of it allows DAs to get pleas for lesser charges so the offenders won’t be put on it. People who *need* to be on it (at least, more so than many to make it up there).

        Both registries have the right idea at heart, but there is just no way for them to be applied in a way that will make the world better off.

      2. I disagree about the updating of data bases for sexual offenders. My cousin is one and they are on him whenever he changes a job or an address. They do work. All that needs to be done for an animal abuser database is for law enforcement to do their part and enforce the laws. Databases are not updated until a conviction is made, so the law must do its part. I feel if the databases were in place although not perfect it would reduce numbers of abused animals. At least that is the goal.

  11. After much thought about the registry I would have to say I am against it. As an animal cruelty investigator, the president of a local non governmental private humane society, and resident of a No Kill community which has achieved a 99.8% save rate in East Tennessee I believe/know this registry would be used by the enemies of the No Kill movement against the very people fighting on the front lines to create No Kill communities. In the vast majority of communities animal control is part of the local city/county shelter, or kill shelter. These are the very people and agencies that stand against No Kill shelter reform and I consider them enemies that cannot be trusted. I know of several instances where animal control agencies abuse their authority to bring charges against animal rescue people they don’t agree with on philosophy and some of these cases have achieved convictions.These people would now be on the national registry and labeled an abuser with no way to clear their name. If this system could be maintained without abuse I would of course be for it, but it can’t. It seems to me to go against all logic to give the very people we are fighting to achieve a No Kill nation this kind of power… Steve @ No Kill Revolution

    1. I’ve done private rescue (of parrots mainly), but not with a group. I was aware of some of the rescue persecution by others in the rescue world (Austin, TX, for example), but didn’t know it was so widespread. Thanks for sharing this side of the story. Unfortunately, our society, in large part because of the internet and ease of communications over a large distance quickly, has become a “snitch” society, using media pressure and law enforcement to persecute those who we believe are “wrong” (according to our own personal “bible”). That’s a shame because what it means is that any law can be used as a weaponized tool against others, and rather than a helping community, individuals in particular use divide-and-conquer against others that they perceive as vulnerable, whether it’s the little old lady that has gotten in over her head in animals and needs a helping hand, not the hammer of the law, or a rescue in the same situation. Compassion and education are often being used less than cold disregard and punishment, *using* animals to *punish* people. That’s just wrong.

  12. (1) I view it as unnecessary. Pet-Abuse.com is an excellent resource, and it includes national information. And I like to context and media reports that are included. From there, you can do more digging if necessary.
    (2) I find that such calls for a registry detract (and distract) from the kinds of real reform that are necessary, namely more vigorous and equitable prosecution of abuses as well as sentences that mean something.
    (3) The criminal justice system is broken. Rich people buy their way out of convictions; poor people plead out because they have no choice. Friends of friends have discretion to prosecute or not or even look the other way. Add racial and other biases.
    (4) No one polices the animal police, shelters, and ACOs. They continue to be the greatest source of abuse, and they are PART of the system. This registry is more likely to be used as a retribution tool against critics than to be a reasonable source of unbiased information.
    (5) I doubt my government’s ability to successfully or accurately run such a database, and the problems of false/confused identity and getting your name removed if wrongly listed scare me.
    (6) If this is to be helpful, it needs to be a national database, not state.

    I could live with it, but I’m not lobbying for it. And I’d be just fine with it just “going away.” HSUS is no friend of mine, and their stated reason for opposition continues their typical “head in the sand” mentality. But I think all of us are tiring of empty legislation that gains PR for politicians when there’s REAL work to be done changing things for the better.

    1. >>>Pet-Abuse.com is an excellent resource, and it includes national information. And I like to context and media reports that are included. From there, you can do more digging if necessary.<<<

      From what I have read, Pet-Abuse.com is NOT unbiased and posts info that may be erroneous (think the spoon-fed media always gets it right?). It's also next to impossible to get corrections made and wrongfully entered names off. Who's gonna do more digging? Not the harried shelter worker or rescue person who is trying to find a good fit. Even if the info is questionable, more than likely, they'll turn the person down (maybe unjustifiably), just to be on the safe side.

      I can't figure out H$U$'s position either. I'd think they'd be for it, but I'm sure in the grand strategy of moving toward eliminating animals from our lives, they have their reasons. Maybe it's that it might eliminate some of their raids of convenience or potential "rescued" victims of cruelty when they need to fundraise. They are, after all, *conflict fundraisers* (on the backs of animals).

    2. >>Pet-Abuse.com is an excellent resource, and it includes national information. <<
      That's not what I've read about them, but rather that they put anything even remotely resembling a sniff of neglect/abuse on there and they will not remove it even if the info is erroneous. Tells me you cannot entrust a group with a negative agenda to be honest and unbiased with personal info on lots of people.

  13. Horrible idea. The sex offender registry is not working as it is. People get added for things like a 17 year old having sex with their 15 year old girlfriend, urinating in public, all kinds of crazy things. The same thing would happen with an animal abuser registry – people would end up on there for exceeding limit laws, having an animal escape from their yard and thus violating leash laws, having a dog with toenails that were too long or tartar on teeth. Just very bad idea all around.

  14. Subsitute the word animal abuser for pedophile and the animal for child and see if any of the statements against a national data base of animal a users makes any sense.
    Guess the HSUS wants to get mileage from their endorsement of M.Vick.

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