Florida county creates animal abuser registry

MARION COUNTY, Fla. (WSVN) — Lawmakers in one Florida county want to keep track of animal abusers, just as they do with sex offenders.

Fox 30 reports that Marion County officials recently approved a measure to protect pets from abusive owners. The move came after a boxer mix named Molly had been badly beaten with a bat and stabbed in her head by her owner, 50-year-old Steven Scott Fleming.

Although Molly recovered, Marion County commissioner David Moore said Fleming posed a risk to other animals.

“The guy got adjudicated guilty and went to jail, but when he got out, he wanted to adopt more pets,” Moore said.

To keep that from happening, animal advocates proposed Molly’s Law Animal Abuser Registry to county officials. The registry operates similarly to a sex offender registry, but is specifically for people convicted of animal abuse in the county.

The county’s Animal Services department will run the website, which will be paid for with animal abuse fines.

Animal abusers will have to register their address, and people who sell or give pets to someone listed on the website could face fines.

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