Animal Law Review

Author Details

Stacy A. Nowicki, J.D. candidate, Thomas M. Cooley Law School

First Page



A national animal abuser registry has the potential to provide law enforcement agencies with a much-needed tool for tracking animal abusers, but no such registry exists. This Comment first discusses existing state and federal criminal registries for sex offenders, child abusers, and elder abusers. It determines that existing criminal registries often contain inaccurate entries and that they have little deterrent effect, making their potential infringement on offenders’ Constitutional rights and other collateral consequences difficult to justify.

This Comment then turns to the viability of a national animal abuse registry, discussing the link between the abuse of animals and violence towards other humans. Although no state or national animal abuse registries currently exist, several states have tried to pass legislation that would create such registries. In the absence of state-run registries, independent animal interest groups have formed registries of their own. This Comment explores the inherent drawbacks of volunteer-run, financially unaccountable organizations promulgating information about animal abusers. It then concludes that government funding and staffing could fix the accountability gaps that exist with the registries developed by private organizations and proposes a framework for a national animal abuse registry.



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