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County commissioner proposes animal abuse registry ordinance

Monday, April 18, 2016
Chicago Tribune
by Daniel Brown

File photo | John H. White/For Sun-Times

File photo | John H. White/For Sun-Times

A Cook County commissioner proposed an animal abuse registry ordinance last week, aiming to prohibit convicted animal abusers from buying or adopting animals for 15 years or more after their conviction.

Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey announced the proposed Cook County Animal Abuser Registry ordinance April 15, according to a statement from Fritchey’s office.

The ordinance would create a database similar to a sex offender registry and require anyone convicted of any form of animal cruelty — such as dog fighting, animal torture and aggravated cruelty — to register their names and addresses into said database, Fritchey’s office said. Failure to register would result in a fine of up to $2,000.

The ordinance would require pet shops, shelters and rescues to check the registry before selling or adopting out an animal to someone, according to the statement. It would also prohibit people from purchasing or adopting an animal on behalf of someone on the registry and from purchasing or adopting an animal who would share the same address with someone on the registry.

The law, if passed, would cover Chicago and all Cook County municipalities, Fritchey’s office said, adding that Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart supports the ordinance and the registry would be hosted on the sheriff’s website.

“I hope everybody can agree that if a person was criminally convicted of animal abuse, it makes no sense to allow them to buy or adopt another potential victim,” Commissioner Fritchey said in the statement. “By requiring a registry check that will literally only take one or two minutes, we further protect animal welfare and we prevent well-meaning stores, rescues and shelters from unknowingly providing animals to known abusers.”



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