Propose online registry for convicted animal abusers gets mixed reactions

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Should convicted animal abusers be treated similarly to convicted sex offenders? It could happen here in North Carolina.

If a proposed North Carolina law passes, an Animal Abuse Registry would provide the names and pictures of people convicted of animal abuse in the state.

If they are repeat offenders, they'd lose custody of their dogs for up to five years.

Hundreds of FOX8 viewers have shared their thoughts on FOX8's Facebook page. Some people agree 100 percent, but others aren't sure if it will make a difference.

FOX8 went to local dog parks to hear more on what people thought.

"I love my dog. I wouldn't want anyone else hurting their dog. Dogs are like children," Darell Stafford said.

And yet, shelters around the Triad are filled with dogs, cats and other animals. Many of them were abused.

"They probably have a violent past. Violent history," Megan Mayer said. "People like that shouldn't be hidden."

Many people think the proposed law is a great start.

"That would certainly be a red flag and something I'd want to know," Mayer said.

"Say someone hits their kid or something. They get more than a list," Stafford said. "There's a huge chance they go to jail or lose their kid."

But there are concerns, like how the new law would be enforced.

"I don't know how they'd go about that," Mayer said.

Other concerns include what the list would do to people's lives.

"Say someone, an adult, is an a church group or something, everybody is going to know someone," Stafford said. "That's going to ruin their life."

These are all concerns the ASPCA has raised.

They've come out against animal abuse registries in about a dozen states, saying they're too expensive, underutilized and hinder further prosecution.

Their full statement can be found here.

FOX8 did reach out to all of the area animal control offices.

Some officers told FOX8 they've reviewed the bill and think it's a good idea and a step in the right direction. They say they'll figure out how to go about everything if it passes.

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