Tennessee launches the country's first online Animal Abuse Registry
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation launched the state's new online Animal Abuse Registry on January 1. The public database is the first of its kind in the country.
Animal shelters like McKamey Animal Center are looking forward to using the new registry, saying it's another step to ensure a rescued pet won't be adopted back into an abusive home.
"I think people have always taken (animal abuse) seriously. I just think the people that could make a difference are taking it more seriously," said Jamie McAloon, McKamey's Executive Director.
The registry is now a new step in the background check process here at the shelter, where nearly half of the animals have experienced some level of abuse or neglect from their previous owners.
Several puppies, with burned paws, were rescued from a hoarding situation this week.
"Especially when you rehabilitate these animals for months that have been burned, beaten, shot, stabbed. You want to make sure you're doing everything you can to protect those animals and make sure they're going to a home that will take care of them," McAloon said.
The registry is aimed at helping dogs like Ddesiree, who is recovering in foster care. She was found in a dumpster last year, tossed in a trash bag and severely malnourished.
"That was just so horrendous what they did to that dog, and the suffering that dog endured," said McAloon.
Currently, no names are listed on the registry. However, anyone who now gets convicted of felony animal abuse will be added into the system.
"Judges, prosecutors, sheriff's departments and the city police departments -- they're all looking at this, and seeing that people who abuse animals have far more going on that is dangerous to humans as well," McAloon said.
T he registry will also be a useful tool for animal rescue groups or pet owners looking to adopt on their own. To visit the registry website, click here. https://www.tn.gov/tbi/topic/tennessee-animal-abuse-registry