Animal Abuse Registry Takes Effect November 1

On November 1, an animal abuse registry went into effect in Hillsborough County, Florida. The registry (which includes name, address and photo of registered offenders) is designed to keep track of individuals who have been convicted of animal abuse crimes.


Moving forward, convicted animal abusers will be tracked much like sex offenders through a publicly searchable, online website. According to Fox 13 News, Hillsborough residents, who have been convicted of animal abuse in any Florida county, must sign up with the registry. Additionally, animal abusers:

  • Cannot own, possess, or live in the same home or on the same property as an animal while on the registry
  • Cannot work with a companion animal, with or without compensation, while on the registry
  • Must renew their registration annually while on the registry


Thanks to the new ordinance, which was passed in September by county commissioners, animal shelters can (and must) search the registry, on the country-run website, to see if potential adopters have been convicted of animal abuse – if so, the adopter can and will be denied the right to adopt. The same holds true for retailers…potential buyers will be denied the right to purchase a pet if their name is found on the registry. Those who are on the registry are also prohibited from working with animals, so potential employers can utilize the service as well.

Though some people had opposed the new ordinance, those supporting the registry pointed to law enforcement’s ability to keep tabs on violent individuals…citing the known link between cruelty to animals and human violence. According to the Humane Society of the United States:

A number of studies have drawn links between the abuse of animals and violence against people.  A 2001-2004 study by the Chicago Police Department “revealed a startling propensity for offenders charged with crimes against animals to commit other violent offenses toward human victims.”  Of those arrested for animal crimes, 65% had been arrested for battery against another person.

The Facebook page for Hillsborough County is using social media to remind residents about the new ordinance and registry:

Effective November 1, 2016: If you’re selling, adopting, transferring, or exchanging an animal of any kind in #HillsboroughFL, it’s your responsibility to ensure these animals do not get into the hands of animal abusers.

Animal Abuse Registries are becoming more common around the nation; ideally, more pets will be protected from acts of violence.

Find the animal abuse registry at this link.

Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.


  1. Donna Harney says:

    It’s way overdue! Please see that it’s enforced statewide!

  2. kay latoza says:

    That is great now I just hope the othe staye follow suit.

  3. Linda Greer says:

    Would love to see this passed in every state to protect animals!

  4. Cathy wilhelm says:

    Agreed. Need across the country

  5. Cathy wilhelm says:

    Agree with the law. Need across the country

  6. Alice says:

    This should be done world wide, what a great thing for the animals who have no one ot protect them !!!

  7. Shubhangi Sarawagi says:

    I need to complain about one offender !

  8. Evelyn Linnertz says:

    I believe that animal abuse is also treated as a Felony. Hope this has been passed.

  9. Karla Wilmot says:

    I’m also very glad this law has been passed. Now, let’s enforce it and make it happen worldwide. Thank you on behalf of the ones who have no voice!

  10. Tatiana cardenas says:

    It’s a must..makes me have hope. .

  11. Tatiana cardenas says:

    I am so glad this is in effect.its a must.

  12. Mary Kline says:

    Awesome lets do this all across the world especially Pennsylvania please

  13. Cynthia Heitmann says:

    How can I start the process of doing this in my state, Missouri. I think ALL states, and countries for that matter,should pass this law. An abuse registry is a good start for a very long time problem. GOOD work Hillsboro County, Florida.

  14. Ann says:

    Suggestions as to how to get this passed in my state? Sadly, I’m in Pa which is the Puppy Mill Capitol on our country. ?

  15. Vanessa Palhete says:

    Yes! Awesome! ! Bring this law to New Jersey!

  16. Mary says:

    I’m so overjoyed to read this, now all stares and cities need to adopt this immediately if not sooner, get going and do this wonderful thing!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????

  17. renee cruz says:


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