Convicted animal abusers may have to add name to registry

Convicted animal abusers may have to add name to registry

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"We need to be aware of people that have a history of animal abuse so we'll be more conscious of what they're doing," said Kara Disbrow. "We need to be aware of people that have a history of animal abuse so we'll be more conscious of what they're doing," said Kara Disbrow.
It's taken a lot of work getting Flash to blossom, he was rescued in an animal abuse case of hoarding back in 2005. It's taken a lot of work getting Flash to blossom, he was rescued in an animal abuse case of hoarding back in 2005.

By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - People convicted of abusing animals could find themselves on a statewide registry, in the same way that sex offenders are listed. It's an idea lawmakers are considering as we've seen lots of cases in recent years of animals found living in terrible conditions.

State representatives behind this bill point to a study by the FBI linking animal abuse to violence and outline that this change is a way to protect Tennesseans.

Flash is a 12 year old cat who is cute, curious, and cuddly. "He just absolutely loves everybody and just wants to be in your lap all the time," said his owner Kara Disbrow.

It's taken a lot of work getting Flash to blossom, he was rescued in an animal abuse case of hoarding back in 2005. One picture Disbrow showed us how Flash had lost most of his fur.

"He wasn't as sick as the others but he was real thin and he was obviously unhealthy," added Disbrow.

Tennessee lawmakers are now working to make sure in cases of animal abuse or cruelty, judges have another tool in their box.

"If you're convicted you're going on the registry," said State Representative Darren Jernigan of Old Hickory.

So how will it work? Representative Jernigan explains, "The TBI is going to put it in a website this is what the crime was, this is a picture of the person who did it. They're on it for two years. if they're a repeat offender they go to five years."

That information then becomes available to you and me. For those who have given a forever home to pets like Flash say this possibility is simply a good idea.

"We need to be aware of people that have a history of animal abuse so we'll be more conscious of what they're doing," said Disbrow.

It's important to mention that once an abuser has finished supervision on probation or parole they can petition to have their name taken off this registry.

If passed, this bill would take effect January 1st, 2015. So far there have been no votes in the house or senate. We've learned amendments could be coming to this bill in the next few weeks.

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