Placing dogs and cats in new homes can be a risky endeavor, but it will soon be easier for animal lovers and pet shops to make sure their furry friends find loving owners.
The New York City Council last week voted unanimously to override former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's veto and create a city-wide database of animal abusers. Anyone convicted of animal abuse will be prohibited from having any contact with animals for at least five years.
All shelters, breeders and pets stores in New York City will be required to look up prospective pet owners on the registry before selling an animal or facilitating an adoption.
“Up until now there has been no official mechanism to prevent someone convicted of animal abuse from simply walking into a shelter or going on Craigslist and acquiring a new animal to abuse," the Animal Legal Defense Fund said in a statement.
The ALDF noted that animal hoarders — like the Long Island man found to be housing 75 animals in squalid conditions several years ago — are typically in need of mental health treatment.
In 2011, Nassau County in Long Island set up a hotline where concerned citizens could report instances of animal abuse.