Hillsborough County moves forward with plan to make animal abusers register, ban them from owning pets
TAMPA — Animal abusers would be barred from adopting pets under a proposal Hillsborough County commissioners advanced Thursday.
The commission voted 6-0 to create a new registry for people convicted of misdemeanor and felony animal abuse. Those individuals would not be allowed to own or handle pets, and shelters and those who sell animals must check the registry before selling or transferring new pets to those people.
Violators of the new ordinance could be subjected to fines up to $500 and jail time up to 60 days.
The issue will first go before a public hearing on July 20 before it is finalized.
Commissioner Kevin Beckner introduced the registry as a means to not only protect animals but to keep tabs on violent individuals. Many people who abuse dogs are likely to abuse people or commit violent crimes in the future, he said.