As shelter workers and veterinarians know, animals are the victims of abuse and cruelty all too often in our society, but one state just took a big step to prevent future abuse.
On January 1st, Tennessee became the first state to publicly post a registry of animal abusers.
The registry, found online here, doesn't currently have any individuals listed, but the list will grow as the state's Bureau of Investigations finds cases of abuse such as cruelty, fighting and bestiality, among others.
An individual's name, date of birth, address and photo will be available for all to see. After a first offense, their information will remain on the registry for two years. After a second offense, it's five years.
That's great news for animal advocates, shelter workers and veterinarians.
"It's going to be another useful tool that agencies such as ourselves can do a little bit more research on individuals we encounter whether it be in the field or individuals that come to adopt animals," the local shelter director told WKRN.
Efforts have been made on the city and county levels, but never before has a state gone to such efforts to protect animals from known abusers.