The City Council of NYC overrode a veto from Mayor Bloomberg earlier in 2014 and has approved the creation of a registry that listing anyone who is convicted of animal abuse or cruelty. All the names that are entered onto the registry are prohibited from owning an animal. The registry will be an electronic database that will be available to all law enforcement agencies, district attorneys, and humane societies, as well as shelters and other pet associations.
NYC now is the biggest jurisdiction to implement such a registry and it’s not the only place. Michigan is also moving forward to pass a registry where shelters and animal control agencies will have to check it and do a criminal background check on anyone seeking to adopt an animal.
On a larger scale, the Animal Legal Defense Fund is working hard to create a national Do Not Adopt registry that will be open to anyone but searchable only by name and date of birth. If there is a match the database will provide information necessary for shelters and other humane societies to assist in their approval or denial of adopting an animal to someone, if that person’s name appears on the database. An obvious target of this kind of identification for the ALDF is to stop dog fight owners from obtaining more dogs and those who may have a problem and hoard animals.