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.