Lawmakers to consider animal abuser registry

Annapolis, Md - It's just a dog.

Should a person's freedom be taken away because they say threw this little dog out of a two story window, breaking it's eye socket and almost killing it?

That's exactly what happened to this Yorkshire Terrier just this week.

Police say this man, Gary Wallace Junior did it.

And some say that everyone should know what happened.

But right now he could live right next door and you wouldn't know.

"Maryland is a pitiful state when it comes to animal protection."

Carolyn Kilborn's group, Maryland Votes for Animals says that Maryland ranks 36th out of all 50 states when it comes to laws that protect animals from abuse and neglect.

Kilborn says the number of abuse cases appears to be rising with animals of all sorts becoming victims of torture and cruelty.

She says they've been lobbying lawmakers to try to get them to not only toughen laws but to create a registry of animal abusers.

"We feel that we've gotten momentum from last year's endorsement of candidates and the numbers of animal abuse cases Maryland needs to do more to protect the animals."

The registry proposal would require a person convicted of doing something like this to an animal to register for a period of ten years with local authorities.

They would be fingerprinted and their photographs would go in a state database that could be accessed online by the general public.

The bill's sponsor, Frederick Senator Ron Young, says people need to know who's who in their neighborhood to help prevent future abuse.

"Hoping to prevent them from adopting other animals hoping to warn neighbors that there is someone in your own neighborhood and you're aware of it and you can watch out for you own pets and hopefully being there is a warning to them to not to do it again." Young says.

The senator says they're in the final stages of drafting this bill and he hopes to introduce it in a week or so.

In the meantime Maryland votes for animals is also looking at a new law that would require pet stores to list where the dog came from to help stop dogs from being raised in so called puppy mills.

They are also looking for an extension of the spay and neuter task force.

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