Animal rights group pushes to expose animal abusers - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Animal rights group pushes to expose animal abusers

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A dog at an animal shelter rests its head on its paws in this file image. (FOX5) A dog at an animal shelter rests its head on its paws in this file image. (FOX5)

An animal rights group based out of California is working to create a nationwide database to keep pets out of the wrong hands.

The Animal Abuse Registry would require those convicted of animal cruelty to register with criminal justice services banning them from owning pets. It would alert law enforcement and the public to animal abusers whereabouts and allow shelters to thoroughly screen potential adopters for criminal offenses.

The animal legal defense fund says their goal is to put the focus back on animal welfare, though many states have told the group that creating a registry would be too expensive.

Fox5 spoke with The Animal Foundation, a local non-profit organization operating southern Nevada's largest shelter and pet adoption center, who says pairing their animals with proper loving owners is their top priority.

They interview applicants, contact landlords and watch the way the applicants interact with the animal to ensure the pet's safety.

They add, if for any reason the responsibility of pet ownership becomes too much to handle, a  surrender service is available to take in pets that need rescuing.

"Patrons shouldn't be scared of coming and surrendering their animals because we won't judge them. We try to help them, to find other solutions, but if that's not possible then of course we would take in the animal. It's always better than having an animal running loose on the streets getting hit by a car and coming in injured," said Diana Lammerts, director of operations with The Animal Foundation.

Lammerts says sadly they have many cases of animals getting hit by cars because a lot of abused and neglected pets often get turned loose.

Animal abuse is a felony in the state of Nevada. The charge comes with a one- to five-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $10,000.

This idea of a registry would be available to shelters and neighbors who want to report abusive behavior.

The organization is hoping to have the database up and running by the end of the year. To sign the petition or learn more about abusers near you, visit

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