Those convicted of animal abuse charges could be forced to register in a database much like convicted sex offenders. State Representative Toni Berrios (D-Chicago) says she plans introduce a bill in the upcoming general assembly. She says she was urged by those who work with animals in her district to model the proposed legislation on one currently used in New York.
“Penalties are very weak and there is no way to know if someone has been convicted of animal cruelty,” Berrios says.
Under the bill, pet shops and animal breeders would be required to check the database before selling an animal. People on the list would not be allowed to own or work with animals and would have to notify the state of any change of address.