[Adopted 10-12-2010 by L.L. No. 55-2010 (Ch. 207, Art. IV, of the 1985 Code)]
This Legislature hereby finds and determines that animal cruelty is a serious problem, resulting in the abuse of thousands of animals each year in the United States. This Legislature also finds and determines that while New York State has criminalized the cruel treatment of animals, animal abuse continues to occur in Suffolk County and throughout the state. This Legislature finds that statistically, individuals who abuse animals are more likely to commit violent acts against humans. This Legislature also determines that a strong correlation has been established linking individuals who abuse animals with incidents of domestic violence. This Legislature also finds that legislation is currently pending before the State Legislatures of California and Tennessee to establish statewide registries of individuals convicted of animal abuse offenses. This Legislature further finds that it is in the best interests of Suffolk County residents to establish a similar system. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to establish an online registry for individuals residing in Suffolk County who are convicted of animal abuse crimes.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ANIMAL ABUSE CRIME
- The commission of the following enumerated crimes against an animal: animal fighting, as defined in the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law (hereinafter "AML") § 351; overdriving, torturing and injuring animals; failure to provide proper sustenance, as defined in AML § 353; aggravated cruelty to animals, as defined in AML § 353-a; abandonment of animals, as defined in AML § 355; failure to provide proper food and drink to an impounded animal, as defined in AML § 356; interference with or injury to certain domestic animals, as defined in AML § 361; harming a service animal in the first degree, as defined in New York State Penal Code § 242.15.
- CONVICTED OF
- An adjudication of guilt by any court of competent jurisdiction, whether upon a verdict or plea of guilty or nolo contendere.
[Amended 12-3-2013 by L.L. No. 4-2014]
A registry is hereby created which shall contain the names and residence information of individuals living in Suffolk County who are convicted of an animal abuse crime. The Commissioner of the Suffolk County Police Department is hereby authorized and empowered to contract with qualified organizations dedicated to animal rights, rescue and/or preventing animal abuse to establish and maintain a publicly accessible registry for such individuals residing in Suffolk County. The selected contractor shall receive all fees associated with the registration as compensation for its maintenance and administration of the registry.
[Amended 12-6-2011 by L.L. No. 3-2012; 12-3-2013 by L.L. No. 4-2014]
All persons 18 years of age or older who reside in Suffolk County and are convicted of an animal abuse crime on or after the effective date of this article must register with the Suffolk County Animal Abuse Registry at a Suffolk County Police Department precinct within five days following the effective date of this article or their release from incarceration or, if not incarcerated, from the date of conviction.
All persons 18 years of age or older who reside in Suffolk County and are convicted of an animal abuse crime shall be notified at sentencing by the Office of the Suffolk County District Attorney of the requirement to register pursuant to Subsection A.
Each person registered with the Animal Abuse Registry shall update his or her registration information each time he or she moves from one residential address to another or, if his or her residential address does not change, annually from the date of his or her first registration.
Each person required to register with Suffolk County shall remain on the Animal Abuse Registry for five years following his or her release from incarceration or the date judgment was rendered, whichever is later. Registered persons who are convicted of subsequent animal abuse crimes shall remain on the registry for 10 years following their most recent conviction.
Every person required to register with the Animal Abuse Registry must pay an annual fee of $50 to the Suffolk County Police Department. These funds will be used to pay the administrative costs of maintaining the registry.
The Commissioner of the Suffolk County Police Department is hereby authorized and empowered to promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary to implement this article.
Any person required to register with the Animal Abuse Registry who fails to do so shall be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and shall be punished by incarceration in a correctional facility for not more than one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
This article shall apply to all persons convicted of animal abuse crimes on or after the effective date of this article.
This article shall take effect on the 180th day immediately subsequent to filing in the Office of the Secretary of State.