A recent story about an animal abuser supports the view of many in America who want a national registry of animal abusers. The matter concerns a man whose name is Anthony Appolonia. On December 4, 2008 in Monmouth County, USA, he was sentenced to 5 years in prison for torturing and killing 19 cats. Monmouth County is in New Jersey.
Appolonia moved to Delaware on his release in November 2012. Four Delaware residents have said that they unknowingly gave him cats for adoption. It appears from documentary evidence (see montage below) that Appolonia solicited cats. Although the situation is not completely clear at the moment. But we do know based upon the evidence of four Delaware residents that they gave him cats and we don’t know where the cats are at present.
The fact of the matter is that this animal abuser should have been barred under court order from having any contact with animals for the rest of his life and that the court order should be listed on a registry available to the public. I would argue that such a registry should be available to the public indefinitely. Some others might argue that there should be a time limit on how long an animal abuser is listed on a public registry. Others would argue that it is unfair and unproductive to make such a registry public. They argue that a public registry vilifies criminals for the time they are on the registry which does not help to protect animals because it does not change behavior. I don’t get that argument. It is pointless. The objective of a registry is not to change the behavior of animal abusers but to protect innocent animals from their perverted desires.
There should be a nationwide registry so that offenders can be cross-referencing between the 50 states of the USA. In fact there should be a worldwide registry as abusers travel abroad as well as to different states in the USA. This would be akin to people convicted of sex crimes in the UK which protects the public. An animal abuse database would protect domestic cats and other domesticated animals. I believe that cats are particularly vulnerable to people like Appolonia. Cats are very easy targets for people who get kicks out of hurting animals.
On November 15, 2015 I wrote about the state of Tennessee which was in the process of creating a statewide animal abuse registry. Certain cities, one of which is New York, also have animal abuse registries. Tennessee is the first state in the USA to have an animal abuse registry as I understand it.
I feel quite confident that other states have considered or are considering the creation of an animal abuse registry. If that is the case, the process should be speeded up and a network created between the states. Only in this way will animals be truly protected across the USA.
I cannot see any argument why such a registry should not be created. The only reason why it has not happened is because politicians are disinterested in such a project. Or they de-prioritise this sort of legislation. Of course, I disagree with that attitude.
I don’t know of any country that has an animal abuse registry. In the UK, on March 2014, there was a call for an animal abuser registry. The call was for a campaign to create such a database of abusers. The campaign failed to gain enough support for the government take it seriously. One thousand people signed a petition. A representative of the government stated that the government had no proposals to introduce a database of animal abusers. He stated that such a database would raise civil rights and data protection issues. He also stated that he was unsure how such a system would be enforceable “given how easy it is for animals to change hands”. That last point is irrelevant because this is about people being registered.
There is, of course, a national database of criminal offenders in the UK. I get the arguments against a UK registry although I disagree with them. However, the UK is different to the USA, quite obviously. This is because in the USA there is both federal and state law and even laws going down to county and city level. In the UK, by and large, there’s only one law which is the law of the country created by statute. This helps is creating a comprehensive nationwide database.
As the law in America is more fragmented and in respect of certain crimes created on a state-by-state basis, it would seem that there is a much more pressing requirement for a national database of animal abuse offenders. What do you think?
Source: NJ.com (a New Jersey online newspaper).