Animal Abuser Registry Now in Effect in Hillsborough
Hillsborough County, Fla. (Nov. 1, 2016) - Hillsborough County's Animal Abuser Registry Ordinance went into effect today, marking an important step in the County's effort to prevent abusive owners from possessing or working with animals.
"Most owners consider their pets to be family members," said County Commissioner Kevin Beckner, who championed the ordinance. "This registry not only protects animals, but it can identify -- and maybe even prevent -- violence against humans, too. I'm very proud of the new law."
The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners approved the Animal Abuser Registry Ordinance on Sept. 8, 2016. Under the new regulations, convicted animal abusers are required to register in person for the Animal Abuser Registry within 10 business days of their conviction. Appointments to register can be made by calling (813) 272-5760 or emailing RegistryManager@HCFLGov.net.
By law, a Hillsborough resident convicted of animal abuse in any Florida county:
- CANNOT own, possess, or live in the same home or on the same property as an animal while on the Registry
- CANNOT work with a companion animal, with or without compensation, while on the Registry
- MUST renew their registration annually while on the Registry
Those convicted of animal abuse will remain on the Registry for the following time periods after their release from incarceration or, if not incarcerated, from the date of their conviction:
- Misdemeanor Animal Abuse: 3 years
- Felony Animal Abuse: 5 years
- Second or subsequent conviction of Misdemeanor or Felony Animal Abuse: 10 years
The Animal Abuser Registry will contain the names, residence, photo, and other related information of those living in the county who are convicted of an offense on or after Nov. 1, 2016. The ordinance requires any Hillsborough County resident or vendor to check the Registry for any transaction involving an animal, and bans the sale, adoption, transfer, or exchange of any animal to a person on the Registry. When buying from a commercial operation, a pet buyer must sign an affidavit affirming they do not meet the criteria to be on the Animal Abuser Registry.
Holly East and Jennifer Groff, aides to Commissioner Kevin Beckner, District 6 Countywide