UTICA, N.Y. — Oneida County now has an animal abuser registry, identifying individuals who have been convicted of animal abuse crimes.
County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. signed the Oneida County Animal Abuser Registry into law on Wednesday.
The registry is meant to prevent those convicted of animal abuse from purchasing or obtaining animals from any animal shelter or pet seller. It will also warn potential employers that may hire a registered individual to work closely with animals in pet shops, shelters or veterinary offices.
“I am proud to say that today, animals are safer in Oneida County,” Picente said. “The signing of this Animal Abuser Registry is the culmination of months of collaboration and hard work between many valued partners including Sheriff Robert Maciol, District Attorney Scott McNamara, the Board of Legislators and our County Attorney’s Office. With this new law in the books we are putting those who seek to harm defenseless animals on notice that they can no longer hide from their intolerable acts.”
The registry will be managed by the sheriff’s office and include the name, residence and date of birth of all those convicted of animal abuse living in Oneida County, along with the date and description of the offense committed and the sentence imposed.
Those individuals will remain on the list for 15 years from the date of conviction or release from incarceration. Any registered offender convicted of another animal abuse crime will be placed on the registry for life.
“There is no excuse for animal abuse and those who commit these heinous acts should be punished and held accountable,” said Sheriff Robert Maciol. “I am happy that the sheriff’s office will provide the means by which these monsters will be on display for all to see.”
Animal abuse offenders must register within five business days of their conviction or release from jail. Anyone who fails to register or gets a pet after convicted of animal abuse, will be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by jail time up to a year and possibly a fine of up to $1,000.
If someone working for a farm owner, association or corporation ends up on the registry, the ban on owning animals will only apply to the offender and the employer’s name will not appear on the registry.
“Animal abuse crimes have no place in Oneida County and my office will be diligent in its pursuit of convicting offenders and those who violate the terms of the Animal Abuser Registry,” said District Attorney Scott McNamara.
An animal abuse crime is considered a violation of any of the provisions of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law Article 26, including prohibition of animal fighting; overdriving, torturing and injuring animals; failure to provide proper sustenance and aggravated cruelty to animals and abandonment and poisoning or attempted poisoning of animals.
It is also an animal abuse crime to violate the New York State penal laws of sexual misconduct with an animal, harming a service animal, killing or injuring a police animal and harming an animal trained to aid a person with a disability.