Residents of California and communities in the United States have good reason to be concerned about the whereabouts of animal abusers like Young Song. In story after heartbreaking story, abusers repeat their violent crimes against helpless animals, and often go on to victimize people as well.
The man convicted of beating his neighbor’s dog to death with a hammer shows classic behavior symptoms in need of psychological evaluation and treatment (Man who killed dog with hammer banned from owning pets, October, 5 2012). Anyone whose anger and lack of empathy could result in such a heartless act should be punished to the fullest extent of the laws available.
What will become on Young Song after he serves his time, pays his fines and completes counseling, if any was ordered? Will he return to the home where he lived when he brutally killed his neighbor’s dog or will he move?
I would want to know if a violent or repeat animal abuser were living next door to me and my family. Animal abuse is often just the tip of the iceberg. According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people and four times more likely to commit property crimes than are individuals without a history of animal abuse.
Convicted animal abusers pose a real, ongoing threat to pets, families, and communities. Having an animal abuse registry would be an invaluable tool. An animal abuse registry would require mandatory registration and community notification for convicted animal abusers. This would make a dramatic difference in keeping offenders away from potential new victims allowing animal shelters and humane societies to more thoroughly screen potential adopters—and by alerting the public to their whereabouts.
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