Public registries for convicted animal abusers — much like those that monitor and publish the whereabouts of sexual offenders – have been proposed in California and are being encouraged in other states in a campaign by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
Those convicted of felonies in cases involving torture, mutilation, intentional killing, dogfighting, neglect and hoarding would be listed on state registries under the proposal, announced yesterday in an Animal Legal Defense Fund press release.
The ALDF says such registries would help protect animals, pet guardians and communities by preventing repeat offenses from anyone with an established history of abusing animals.
Through its campaign, www.ExposeAnimalAbusers.org, the animal protection organization is promoting model legislation that state legislatures could enact.
Bills to establish registries have been introduced in Rhode Island, Colorado, and Tennessee, but the first-ever bill for a statewide registry in California was announced yesterday by its sponsor, Sen. Dean Florez.
The ALDF cited several cases that show the need for such registries:
In 2004, Robert Rydzewski, a 29-year-old man living in upstate New York shot his neighbor’s dog in the face twice. Two months later, he killed another neighbor’s Welsh Corgi with an ax. Rydzewski was convicted of “torturing or injuring” an animal, and he has since been arrested for assaulting people and resisting arrest. His whereabouts are unknown.
In 1999 Shon Rahrig, while living in Ohio, allegedly adopted several cats and a puppy from local shelters and tortured them sadistically. He poked out the eyes of a cat named Misty, broke her legs and jaw, cut off her paws, and left her bleeding in a laundry basket. His girlfriend turned him in, and he took a plea bargain that admitted abuse of only one animal. Rahrig was forbidden to own an animal for five years, but he was subsequently seen at an adoption event in California.
Since 1982, Vikki Kittles has been run out of four states for hoarding animals. Time and again, she has been caught housing dozens of sick, neglected animals in squalid conditions. An Oregon prosecutor convicted Kittles in 1993 after finding 115 sick and dying dogs crammed into a school bus, but she has gone on to hoard animals again in Oregon and other states several times since.
“Animal abuse is not only a danger to our cats, dogs, horses, and other animals, but also to people, said ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “Many animal abusers have a history of domestic violence or other criminal activity, and there is a disturbing trend of animal abuse among our country’s most notorious serial killers.”
The ALDF pointed out that Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, David Berkowitz (“The Son of Sam”), Albert DeSalvo (“The Boston Strangler”) and Dennis Rader (Kansas’ “BTK killer”) all abused animals before their other crimes, as did many of the teenagers who went on shooting rampages at high schools in Columbine, Colorado, Pearl, Mississippi, and Springfield, Oregon.
“But it’s not just about how animal abusers end up also hurting or killing humans,” said Wells. “It should be motivation enough to protect our animals from repeat offenders – and any abuse of any kind.”
To sign a petition calling for the establishment of such a registry in your area, click here.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 23rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, abuser, abusers, animal, animal legal defense fund, animals, california, cats, cruelty, david berkowitz, dean florez, dogfighting, dogs, felony, jeffrey dahmer, killing, mutilation, offenders, register, registries, registry, robert rydzewski, senator, shon rahrig, ted bundy, torture, vikki kittles, violence
A recent study by Ohio State University confirms what would seem to be pretty obvious — microchipped pets have a better chance of being reunited with their owners than those without microchips.
Microchipped pets find their way back home about 75 percent of the time; in the case of dogs, that’s about 2.5 times more often than those without microchips, according to the study.
Less than 2 percent of all stray dogs and cats taken to shelters participating in the study had microchips implanted in their bodies. Nationally, experts estimate about 5 percent of pets are microchipped.
Microchips have yet to become widely popular — and they aren’t foolproof, the study notes. That one of every four microchiped pets isn’t reunited with its owner is a function of the number of different microchip companies and registries, and owners who fail to keep those registries updated on address changes.
Still, the study suggest that pet owners should give strong consideration to microchipping their companion animals — a conclusion that isn’t that surprising, either, considering one of the authors is a consultant for a company that, through one of its subsidairies, manufactures microchips.
The study notes that identification tags, with the pet’s name, owner’s name and phone number, are still the most effective way to ensure a lost pet is returned.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 8th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: dog, dogs, found, id, identification, implanted, linda lord, lost, medicine, microchipped, microchipping, microchips, ohio state university, pet, pet owners, pets, registries, registry, return, reunite, reunited, school, shelter, shelters, study, tags, veterinarians, veterinary
We’ve reported on this before, but, given our previous post, and seeing as it has made the New York Times, it bears repeating: A city near Tel Aviv is logging information about the DNA of local dogs — by collecting their poop.
The idea is that, in the future, they will be able to analyze unscooped poop, track down the owners and hit them with a fine.
It all got started when the mayor of Petah Tikva called veterinarian Tika Bar-On, the city’s director of veterinary services, and asked if it was possible to use DNA fingerprinting to identify which dogs pooped on his city streets without picking up after them.
As a result, Bar-On introduced the first-ever CSI: Dog poop unit.
Bar-On recruited 12-year-olds from a local grade school to go door to door, persuading dog owners to donate samples, to get the registry started. She’s also managed to get saliva samples from dogs at festivals. And she’s arranging to have her poop squad analyze properly disposed of poop, so that responsible pet owners can get rewards — another incentive for them to register.
To date, the Israeli dog DNA bank contains more than 100 samples. According to Bar-On, about 90 percent of owners agree to donate samples when asked.
The other 10 percent, apparently, are saying no shit. Or spit.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 15th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: collection, dna, dna testing, dog, droppings, fecal matter, fingerprinting, israel, litter, petah tikva, poop, registry, scoop, shit, veterinary