WXXI Local Stories
Tue July 30, 2013
Animal Abuser Registry Sparks Debate in Legislature
A proposal by Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature to create an Animal Abuser Registry died in committee Monday night.
Lawmakers voted along party lines to defeat the measure, which would have prohibited convicted animal abusers from adopting pets for ten years.
The bill's lead sponsor, legislator Willie Lightfoot, says this was "standard operating procedure for partisan politics" on the part of his Republican colleagues. "I saw that they were just making excuses to vote this down. I can get that sense in the room, because I have been there many times before."
Republican Majority Leader Steve Tucciarello said while well-intentioned, the bill was flawed. "Anyone that was on the registry could simply drive twenty or twenty-five minutes outside of Rochester and get access to a pet or animal and completely circumvent this law."
Tucciarello said a bill pending in the state legislature would create a similar Animal Abuse Registry. He said he has personally called members of the local Republican delegation in the State Assembly who have pledged their support for the measure.
Democrat Minority Leader Carrie Andrews said in a release "Republican lawmakers shirked their responsibility to protect animals in our county. We don't know when the State will act, if ever. We had an opportunity to lead and the Republicans squandered it."