Dec. 19, By Christian Murray
The city is about to keep tabs on animal abusers.
The city council passed legislation today — introduced by Council Member Peter F. Vallone Jr. — that will create a registry of animal abusers.
Crimes that would result in inclusion in the registry are animal fighting, abandonment and aggravated cruelty. Those people who are found guilty of such crimes are to included on the registry and would be prohibited from owning an animal.
The legislation comes just two years after Milan Rysa, a bodybuilder from Astoria, killed his dog by tossing it out of a third-floor window. Rysa hurled his Chinese Shar-Pei, weighing about 50 pounds, out of his apartment on Steinway Street, almost hitting two women who were walking by. He was sentenced to a year in prison.
Entities that sell or adopt out pets, such as animal shelters and pet shops, will be required to consult the registry before transferring ownership of any animal in their care. They would be prohibited from transferring ownership to anyone listed on the registry.
Residents convicted of animal abuse crimes would be required to register upon release from incarceration, or if not incarcerated, within five days of sentencing.
First time offenders will remain on the registry for five years and those guilty of subsequent abuses 10 years. Anyone convicted of animal abuse who fails to report to the registry or who owns an animal while listed in the registry faces punishment of up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
“This is a Christmas present not only to New York City animals, but animals in all of the areas that will now move forward with similar registries,” said Council Member Vallone. “Abusers are now on a short leash and this registry will help prevent them from being able to torture another animal.”
Vallone is hopeful that other cities introduce similar laws, thereby creating a safer environment for animals across the United States and the world.