There is a new advocate for abused animals in Rensselaer County. It is a new law that is on the books as a registry to keep track and prosecute those who are repeat offenders. It is also designed to keep animals out of the hands of those who have been arrested for such heinous crimes.

The new law was proposed by Rensselaer County District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly back in April and was recently adopted by the Rensselaer County Legislature. The Rensselaer County Animal Abuse Registration Act is now on the books according to The Record.

The registry now allows information sharing of anyone over sixteen who had previously been convicted of an Animal Abuse and Neglect crime. Name and addresses are included in the registry and they can be viewed on the District Attorney's website. The law also stated that no animal shelter or accredited pet dealer can sell, exchange or transfer ownership of any animal until they search the Animal Abuse Registry to confirm the name of the potential owner.

The offender is also required to register with the Animal Abuse Registry. If they fail to do so, they can be put in jail for up to one year and receive a one thousand dollar fine for each day they do not register.

Rensselaer County District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly said of this law:

This legislation may prevent animal abusers from owning animals in the future. Unfortunately, people who have abused animals in the past are likely to do so in the future, and studies show that there is a near-100% recidivism rate for certain types of animal abuse.

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