Proposed Erie County law aims to reduce animal abuse

Mar 29, 2012

Convicted animal abusers will pay a heavy price, if a just-introduced local law makes its way through Old County Hall and the Rath Building successfully.

Legislator Terrence McCracken unveiled the measure at a news conference Thursday afternoon.  The proposed law would establish an online registry containing the names, addresses, ages, and facial photographs of those found guilty. The information would be publicly available.

Anyone on the registry would be prohibited from possessing, adopting, owning, buying or exercising control over any animal.  Violators would face fines of up to $1,000.

"Due to recent cases of animal abuse in our region, I believe more needs to be done to strengthen the county law in order to prevent animal abuse," McCracken said.

McCracken says he believes the proposed local law can be one of the weapons in fighting crimes against defenseless animals. He says the law would be a tool that the county's SPCA and local adoption agencies could use to better screen potential owners.

The Lancaster-area Democrat says he hopes to hear the public's opinion on the law in the coming weeks.