State Creates First Public Animal Abuser Registry

As of January 1, 2016, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation launched the Tennessee Animal Abuse Registry.

Tennessee is the first state in the country to take such a step.

It is empty at the moment, but will become populated once crimes are committed going forward involving aggravated animal cruelty, felony animal fighting, bestiality, and other related crimes.

After their first offense, the abuser’s name, address, and photo will remain on the site for two years; for any subsequent offenses, that time is increased to five years.

The legislation that created this database was passed in May 2015; only one member of the general assembly voted against it.  State Representative Darren Jernigan introduced the legislation and has spoken with legislators from about ten other states including California, Massachusetts, and Georgia, who plan on introducing a similar bill this year.