Oneida County to Establish Animal Abuser Registry
Picente Joined by Maciol & McNamara in Announcing New Law
UTICA — County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. was joined by Sheriff Robert Maciol and District Attorney Scott McNamara today to announce the establishment of the Oneida County Animal Abuser Registry.
The online registry will identify individuals residing in Oneida County who have been convicted of animal abuse crimes in order to prevent them from purchasing or obtaining animals from any animal shelter or pet seller. It will also warn potential employers that may be looking to hire an individual to work closely with animals in pet shops, shelters or veterinary offices.
“Any abuse of or cruelty toward animals is abhorrent and will not be tolerated in Oneida County,” Picente said. “This animal abuser registry will ensure that those who despicably mistreat and harm animals are prevented from ever doing so again and that defenseless creatures of all kinds are further protected under penalty of law.”
The registry will be created, managed and maintained by the Sheriff’s Office and include the name, residence and date of birth of all convicted animal abuse offenders living in Oneida County, along with the date and description of the offense committed and the sentence imposed. Those individuals will remain on the list for 15 years from the date of judgement of conviction or release from incarceration. Any registered animal abuse offender convicted of a subsequent animal abuse crime will be placed on the registry for life.
“All animal abuse offenders must register within five business days of their conviction or release from incarceration,” said Maciol. “We will have the link to the registry right on the Sheriff’s Office website and their photos will be posted for all to see. We will also periodically provide updates to the registry that will be made public so that everyone knows exactly who these monsters are.”
Any animal abuse offender who fails to register, will be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by incarceration of up to a year and/or a fine of up to $2,000. Offenders who violate the prohibition against owning an animal will be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by incarceration of up to a year and/or a fine not to exceed $5,000. And any animal shelter or pet seller who knowingly violates the prohibition against selling, exchanging or transferring the ownership of any animal to an offender, will be considered guilty of a violation and subject to a fine of up to $5,000.
“Just as we are with animal abuse cases, my office will be diligent in its pursuit of a conviction for anyone violating the terms of the Oneida County Animal Abuser Registry Law,” McNamara said. “These types of crimes are disgusting and have not or will ever stand in this county.”
An animal abuse crime is considered a violation of any of the provisions of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law Article 26, including prohibition of animal fighting; overdriving, torturing and injuring animals; failure to provide proper sustenance and aggravated cruelty to animals and abandonment and poisoning or attempted poisoning of animals. It is also an animal abuse crime to violate the New York State penal laws of sexual misconduct with an animal, harming a service animal, killing or injuring a police animal and harming an animal trained to aid a person with a disability.
The Local Law establishing the Oneida County Animal Abuse Registry is scheduled to be voted on by the Board of Legislators at its May meeting.