Picente Signs Animal Abuser Registry into Law
UTICA — County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. signed the Oneida County Animal Abuser Registry into law today.
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.
“I am proud to say that today, animals are safer in Oneida County,” Picente said. “The signing of this Animal Abuser Registry law is the culmination of months of collaboration and hard work between many valued partners including Sheriff Robert Maciol, District Attorney Scott McNamara, the Board of Legislators and our County Attorney’s Office. With this new law in the books we are putting those who seek to harm defenseless animals on notice that they can no longer hide from their intolerable acts.”
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.
“There is no excuse for animal abuse and those who commit these heinous acts should be punished and held accountable,” said Sheriff Robert Maciol. “I am happy that the Sheriff’s Office will provide the means by which these monsters will be on display for all to see.”
Animal abuse offenders must register within five business days of their conviction or release from incarceration. Any 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 $1,000. 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 $1,000.
In the event a person acting for or employed by a farm owner, association or corporation is placed on the registry, the prohibition of ownership of animals will only apply to the offender and the employer’s name will not appear on the registry.
“Animal abuse crimes have no place in Oneida County and my office will be diligent in its pursuit of convicting offenders and those who violate the terms of the Animal Abuser Registry,” said District Attorney Scott McNamara.
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 Oneida County Animal Abuser Registry Law will be filed with New York State within the next 20 days, at which point it will officially go into effect.