Bill would create registry of TN animal abusers

Proposed legislation would make Tennessee the first state to keep a database for people who’ve committed crimes against household pets, reports WSMV-TV.

“People that abuse animals, it’s a gateway crime to eventually abusing humans. So we’re trying to catch this on the front end,” said state Rep. Darren Jernigan, D-Old Hickory.

House Bill 2007 and its companion, Senate Bill 2162, would launch an online database showing the faces of people convicted of crimes against animals.

“Maybe you’re on Craigslist and you want to give an animal away, and you want to see who you’re giving your animal away to,” Jernigan said.

Like the state sex offender registry, the animal abuse database would be operated through the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s website.

“They would upload a photo and upload the crime and allow an individual to go there to see,” Jernigan said.

…The site would show misdemeanor and felony offenders, their name and crime but not their address.

First-time offenders’ profiles would stay up for two years. For repeat offenders, it would be posted for five years.