Animal Cruelty Registry; established. (SB32)

Introduced By

Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Moneta)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Animal Cruelty Registry established. Requires the Superintendent of State Police to establish and maintain an Animal Cruelty Registry for public access on the website of the Department of State Police. The Registry shall include the names of persons convicted of certain felony animal cruelty offenses. The bill provides that a person on the Registry may request removal of his name after 15 years, provided that he has no additional felony convictions of an animal cruelty offense. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


12/12/2013Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/14
12/12/2013Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/14 14100868D
12/12/2013Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
01/13/2014Impact statement from DPB (SB32)
01/23/2014Reported from Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources with substitite (14-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/23/2014Committee substitute printed 14104425D-S1
01/23/2014Rereferred to Finance
01/29/2014Continued to 2015 in Finance (17-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)


Editor’s Pick
Mary Devoy writes:

Back in 2011 the Virginia State Crime Commission studied if there should be an Animal Abuse Registry and a Domestic Abuse Registry.

The Animal Abuse Registry study was because of Delegate Daniel Marshall’s 2011 Bill HB1930. The 2011 proposal would have required any adult who has been convicted of a felony violation of Va. Code §§ 3.2‐6570 (cruelty to animals) or 3.2‐6571 (animal fighting), to register for 15 years. With a Failure to register or re‐register resulting a new Class 6 felony.

Here are the VSCC Presentations from 2011:
Domestic Abuser Registry:
Animal Abuser Registry:

Per the presentations, in 2011 an estimate of the funds needed for an Animal Abuser Registry was:
•$49,321 would need to be appropriated to DOC in FY12
•Two state correctional beds and less than one local jail bed would be impacted by FY17
•VSP estimated that about $986,000 would be required to design and develop a new registry and website
•An additional $126,411 would be needed each year to support a position
•Cost to local law enforcement was unknown.

From FY2007 to FY2011 (5 year period) there were 104 Felony convictions of Animal Abuse in Virginia. That’s 20.8 convictions per year.

That’s more than $1 million for an Animal Abuser Registry for 20.8 people per year.

The 2011 VSCC voted NOT to create an Animal Abuser Registry.

Here are two articles on the 2011 study:
Va. Sex Offender Registry Sound, Crime Commission Told, December 6, 2011:
Abuser Registries Cost $1 Million to Start, September 21, 2011:

But, here we are two years (December 2013) later Senator Stanley is proposing legislation to create one, all over again.

VSCC studies cost a lot of time and money but yet some State Legislators who are determined to name and shame anyone and everyone convicted of a crime will just ignore the evidence, costs and time spent previously on looking into the same old proposal. After all, it makes for good campaign material down the road.

Mary Devoy writes:

Great article on the issue!

Tracking Animal Abuse (and Abusers) on the Web January 16, 2011

Portions from the article:

Do public registries work? The head of the country’s largest animal rights group is skeptical.

Wayne Pacelle, head of The Humane Society of the United States, notes that the majority of animal abuse is perpetrated by people who neglect their own animals and are unlikely to pose a danger to neighbors’ pets. Thus, he argues, a system that alerts communities will do nothing to stop these incidents.

While Pacelle is not “categorically” against such registries, he thinks the effort is a distraction from the core law enforcement work that needs to be done, such as strengthening and better enforcing current anti-cruelty statutes.

Otto agrees that the majority of animal abuse involves neglect by a caretaker. But for the ALDF, stopping the smaller percentage of cases that do involve a third party—someone in the neighborhood, for instance, who kidnaps pets, or an abuser who adopts from a pet store that knows nothing about their past—is sufficient grounds for a registry.

Criminologist Noah Fritz is skeptical of the usefulness of public registries. He founded a U.S. Department of Justice-funded crime mapping and analysis program and teaches at the Metropolitan State College of Denver. He thinks registries may have value when police are analyzing crime for patterns, especially outside their own jurisdictions. But he wonders about the purpose of making registries public and thinks it’s time to test the assumptions that led to their creation.

Tod Burke, a former Maryland police officer and Radford University criminal justice professor, says registries raise the question of whether people convicted of a crime forever give up their right to privacy. He imagines a scenario in which storeowners convince law enforcement that the way to reduce shoplifting is to create a database of people convicted of the crime. Storeowners then could use already-available facial recognition technology to stop at the door those on the list.

“It would make law enforcement easier, but at what expense?” he asks.

Alex Friedmann, a former prisoner and now assistant editor of the twenty-year-old Prison Legal News, calls registries the “scarlet letter of our time” and wonders where it will all end.

“If you’re going to put animal abusers on a registry why not everybody?” asks Friedmann. “Every offense is important to somebody…. Should we have a litterbug registry? It’s a serious question….”

spotter writes:

Interesting sidelight: Virginia and the nation have Child Protective Services registries. We do not have Elder Abuse and Neglect registries.


Because some of our assisted living proprietors would have to be included on the list, all while STILL IN BUSINESS.

Gail Nardi, the head of Adult Protective Services for the Commonwealth of Virginia,and a member of the Virginia Council on Aging and the Virginia Public Guardian and Conservator Advisory Board, breezily observed that "only" 18 to 20% of adult abuse/neglect occurs in long-term care.

Only??!! This is the place we put people to PROTECT them from abuse and neglect!!!

Just google Scott Schuett, who holds the all-time record for abuse and neglect findings and for hundreds upon hundreds of repeated, continuous, serious licensing violations in the Commonwealth's assisted living facilities.

Despite deaths and numerous serious injuries, bedbugs and filth, missing medication, mis-administered medication, and shocking neglect of the most fundamental human needs, it took the Commonwealth of Virginia's sclerotic agencies over A YEAR AND A HALF to shut down five of Scott Schuett's six facilities in multiple jurisdictions, with up to 400 victims.

A FULL YEAR after the Virginia Department of Health found Scott Schuett to constitute a substantial danger to the public health and safety, he was STILL IN BUSINESS, while public officials worked busily to cover up their involvement, funding, and dumping of vulnerable people in these horrific facilities.

So should we register animal abusers? Maybe, maybe not.

But understand that we haven't extended this protection to our own elderly, vulnerable, incapacitated citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Understand that many of the efforts of our state agencies and officials are misdirected toward enabling, excusing, and covering up adult abuse and neglect.