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Starkville Daily News - - AROUND TOWN -

psy­cho­log­i­cal eval­u­a­tion and treat­ment.

Stephanie Bell, di­rec­tor of cru­elty case­work for Peo­ple for the Eth­i­cal Treat­ment of An­i­mals, said PETA is strongly in fa­vor of animal abuser reg­istries. But not all animal wel­fare groups agree.

"Given the lim­ited scope, reach and uti­liza­tion of animal abuse reg­istries, it is un­likely they would have any sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the in­ci­dence of animal cru­elty," said Randall Lock­wood, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of anti-cru­elty projects for the AS­PCA. The num­ber of peo­ple who end up on reg­istries is neg­li­gi­ble, he said. Ten­nessee's has just 12.

Leighann Las­siter, of the Humane So­ci­ety

of the United States, said that while her or­ga­ni­za­tion agrees with the mo­ti­va­tion be­hind reg­istries, it's al­ready pos­si­ble to do a na­tion­wide crim­i­nal back­ground check on a po­ten­tial pet adopter, which would re­veal not only cru­elty con­vic­tions, but also other vi­o­lent crimes.

In­stead, Lock­wood said, com­mu­ni­ties should fo­cus on strength­en­ing anti-cru­elty

laws, us­ing no-con­tact or­ders to pre­vent of­fend­ers from hav­ing con­tact with pets, live­stock and wildlife, and ex­pand­ing pro­tec­tive or­ders in do­mes­tic vi­o­lence sit­u­a­tions to in­clude an­i­mals.

The other states con­sid­er­ing reg­istries are Hawaii, In­di­ana, Mary­land, Mas­sachusetts, Mis­sis­sippi, New Jer­sey, Ok­la­homa, Rhode Is­land, Vir­ginia and Washington.

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