CARMEL N.Y. - Putnam County is taking a stand against animal abuse.
The Putnam County Legislature voted Wednesday night to join a growing list of counties with online registries of convicted animal abusers.
The registry sends a clear message, according to Putnam County SPCA Chief Ken Ross: "I think it's an important step for Putnam County," Ross told Daily Voice. "To keep animals out of the hands of people who have abused or been cruel. It's a statement - that Putnam County takes animal cruelty seriously."
Putnam joins Rockland, Ulster, Orange and Sullivan - as well as several other counties around the state - and plans to post the names, addresses and photos of residents convicted of animal cruelty.
Ross explained that whenever a county resident is convicted of animal cruelty, the court would send his or her photo and home address to the Putnam SPCA to be posted on the registry for 10 years. In addition, the offender would pay $50 each year to the SPCA. An offender convicted in another New York county who moves into Putnam would also have to register.
"I think it's great," Michele Dugan, President of the Putnam County Humane Society, said. "It's much-needed... we certainly don't want animals to go to abusers. Right now we have 'do not adopt' lists, but having the registry will be great. It's something we've needed for a while."