State’s proposed animal law could be costly to taxpayers

by Carol Thompson

Currently in New York State, residents have access through a registry to determine if a registered sex offender lives in the area.

There is no registry to alert residents if a convicted murderer, arsonist, armed robber or convicted offender of other heinous crimes have been released from prison and move to a neighborhood.

Someday, if a proposed law is passed, residents will be able to determine if a convicted animal abuser lives in an area.

State Senator Joseph Griffo is the sponsor of a bipartisan bill calling to establish an animal abuser registry statewide, complete with community  notification requirements.

So far, there has not been a vote on that bill.

Akin to the state’s sex offender registry, the records would be available to the public, according to a news release by Senator Patty Ritchie.

Oswego County Undersheriff Eugene Sullivan said he had not read the law, but did note that if local law enforcement is involved, it could become a costly venture.

“Should the sheriff’s office be charged with the task of registering convicted animal offenders, then it could involve costs,” Sullivan said. ”Without knowing how it’s (proposed law) is written, it’s difficult to tell how much time it will take.”

The sheriff’s department has one person devoted to the sex offender registry. That person, Sullivan said, must keep track of the offenders, make visits to be sure the offender is living where he or she is registered and investigating if an offender is not living where he or she is registered.

Sullivan added that the local costs of an animal abuser registry would also not be known until it is determined how the documents will be tracked.

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