February 11, 2016

Bill would make animal abusers register like sex offenders

A bill prefiled in the South Carolina House of Representatives would make it mandatory to have animal abusers be registered.

Lancaster Rep. Deborah Long is sponsoring this bill: “This bill isn’t new. I think it’s been floated through other states, and maybe passed in two others. But this is an animal abuse registry so that folks that are convicted of animal abuse will have to be registered much like sex offenders.”

Kennels found in Edgefield County animal abuse case

Long says people who abuse animals get away with it too often in South Carolina. She also says some of the reasoning behind this bill is that animal abusers are dangerous to everyone, not just animals.

“Animal abuse is going on all the time and these people get caught and just go out and do it again. We’re spending a lot of time and resources on this. And not to mention the fact that a lot of these folks that do these kinds of things, they graduate to people,” says Long.

A recent case in Edgefield County involved a puppy mill owner who had more than 200 animals confiscated previously been charged before with animal cruelty in a nearby county.

Long says if this bill is passed, animal abusers will be placed in a statewide registry similar to sex offenders and the list will be available to the public.

South Carolina Radio Network’ s Tripp Girardeau contributed to this report.

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