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Hillsborough County moves forward with animal abuse registry

June 24, 2016

Hillsborough County commissioners voted 6-0 to create a new registry for those convicted of misdemeanor or felony animal abuse.  Those placed on the registry would not be able to own or handle pets.  Any business or shelter that sells animals or allows adoptions must check the registry before transferring new pets to owners.  Violating the ordinance could result in fines of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail.  The proposed ordinance must go before a public hearing to be held on July 20 before it is finalized.  "It's going to be a good resource for us, a good tool just to help us know that we're not sending an animal into a known abusive home.  That's the last thing we ever want to do,” said Humane Society of Tampa Bay’s Pam Backer. The proposal was advanced by Commissioner Kevin Beckner.  "There's such a high correlation between people who abuse animals and those who abuse humans," said commissioner Beckner.  "So it's extraordinarily important that we're able to identify where those abusers are located."

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