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Proposed Animal Abuse Registry Would Seek To Protect Pets From Abusive Owners

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- An East Harlem man arrested for savagely beating his dog in an elevator, and an Astoria man who threw a Shar Pei out of a window are just two examples of shocking cases of animal abuse in the city.

If City Councilman Peter Vallone gets his way a new registry could help prevent future incidents involving repeat offenders.

"They can go and get a new dog from a shelter and there's nothing preventing that. We need to prevent that," Councilman Vallone told CBS 2's Hazel Sanchez on Wednesday night.

Vallone has proposed a bill that would place anybody convicted of animal abuse into a public registry, similar to the sex offender registry.

"The list would be provided to animal shelters and pet stores and you would be banned from owning an animal. If you did it would be a misdemeanor punishable up to a year in jail," he explained.

There are currently registries in Suffolk and Rockland counties, and Albany. Experts told CBS 2 that registries go a long way towards ensuring that animals are placed in safe, loving homes.

"We've seen it too many times. It slipped through the cracks and someone that may have treated an animal poorly can again get another one? They're gonna do it all over again," said Tiffany Lacey, executive director of Animal Haven Animal Shelter in SoHo.

Councilman Vallone told CBS 2 that he hopes to have a hearing before the Health Department and to have the legislation passed sometime this winter.

Do you think that a registry would help prevent abuse? Share your thoughts and discuss in our comments section...

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