A growing number of US states and counties are taking action against people who abuse animals by listing their names on an official registry, similar to the way sex offenders’ details are stored.
The measures aim to protect the welfare of animals by allowing pet shops and shelters to check prospective owners are not on the registry. They also provide a way to vet pet-sitters and those seeking to buy an animal from another person.
A wider law enforcement motivation is also behind the registries, as studies have shown people who are cruel to animals are more likely to enact violent crime against people.
Tennessee was the first state to introduce a registry in January 2016, following the lead of a small number of regions in New York state, including New York City, and one area in Illinois.
Tampa in Florida joined the list of counties with animal abuser registers in September – and similar initiatives have …