Starting January 2016, Tennessee will be the first state to have an animal abuse registry.
The bill passed unanimously in the House of Representatives and in less than two months the state will launch a list of people convicted of criminal offenses against animals.
Lawmakers and supporters of the piece of legislation hope this effort will help deter animal abusers and prevent pets from being adopted by those with violent pasts.
“I think these peoples name need to be out there,” Washington County, Tennessee Animal Shelter Director Debbie Dobbs said. “It needs to be publicized.”
The public registrar will be posted on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s website.
Criminal offenses include aggravated animal cruelty, felony animal fighting, bestiality and related offenses, and cruelty to animals.