In April of 2021, District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly proposed the need for an online registry of individuals convicted of animal abuse and neglect crimes to the Rensselaer County Legislature. As a result, the Rensselaer County Animal Abuse Registration Act was passed in July of 2021.
This legislation requires all persons sixteen years of age or older who have been convicted of an animal abuse and neglect crime to register with the Rensselaer County Animal Abuse Registry within ten days of their release from incarceration or date of conviction. The registry includes names, addresses, and photos of registered offenders. This information will remain on the registry for 15 years, and if an offender is convicted of a subsequent animal abuse and neglect crime, they will remain on the registry for life. Any Animal Abuse Offender who fails to register with the Animal Abuse Registry shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by incarceration and/or a fine.
The legislation also prohibits all animal shelters, pet sellers, or other persons in Rensselaer County from selling, exchanging, or otherwise transferring ownership of any animal to any person listed as an Animal Abuse Offender.