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Lawmakers Weighing Animal Abuse Registry

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Brian New
Brian joined the CBS 11 News team in 2013 after working a...
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DALLAS (CBDFW.COM) - Last year Justice, a 4-month-old lab terrier, died just days after he was found at a Pleasant Grove apartment complex with third-degree burns over 70 percent of his body.

Hope, a 4-year-old pug mix, was also found last year wandering Parker County with her muzzle taped shut, her tongue pulled out, and cuts all over her body.

Who would do this?

It’s the type of people many say should be required to register just like sex offender.  State lawmakers are considering a bill that would create a statewide animal abuse registry.

Anyone over the age of 17 and who has been convicted of animal abuse would be required to report to the state where they are living for ten years.

Animal shelters and law enforcement would have access to the database.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said animal rescuer Jonnie England.

Over the years England has rescued more than a thousand animals – many of which she said were likely purchased from a shelter.

“When you are offering animals at a very low cost in order to save a life, it’s almost impossible to do much screening” she explained.

England said a state-wide database of convicted animal abusers could help shelters keep pets out of the wrong hands.
Dallas County Assistant District Attorney David Alex said such a registry could also potentially save a human life.

“There is well document evidence of links between animal abuse and people who abuse the elderly, their spouse, children, and even a lot of your capital murders,” said Alex.

He added a registry would make it easier for law enforcement to keep better tabs on potential threats.

In February, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office started an animal abuse unit.  House bill 3747 was up for a public hearing this week in Austin and remains in a House committee.

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