"Aggravated animal cruelty is something that's truly shocking. It demonstrates a malignant heart. This is a person who would be capable of many other crimes."
The quote is by Sen. Doug Jackson (D-Dickson), talking about a bill sponsored by him and Rep. Janis Sontany (D-Nashville). The Tennessee Animal Abuser Registration, Tracking and Verification Act of 2008 will be the first in the USA if passed by the lower house and signed by the governor. The measure would create a registry of people convicted of aggravated cruelty toward animals, felony animal fighting or bestiality. Names, address and photos of abusers would be posted on a state Web site, similar to the list of convicted sex offenders. The senate has already approved it. (Click here to read the article.)
I wholeheartedly favor the enactment of this bill. Anyone who loves animals should appreciate a law that not only will give wrongdoers pause, but enable law enforcement and the rest of us to know the whereabouts of these terrible people. Dog fighting and cruelty toward dogs create vicious canines that make our streets dangerous. Additionally, people who are guilty of aggravated animal cruelty are frequently the ones who assault other human beings. If anyone like this moves into my neighborhood, I want to know, and this law will create a registry that I hope will someday include the entire USA.